GORDON Brown was accused of hypocrisy yesterday after he criticised the UK and Scottish governments for failing to co-operate properly during the Covid crisis.

The former prime minister said the unwillingness to work together should shame the two administrations.

But the SNP’s Keith Brown said the former Labour leader had refused to work with his party after their Holyrood election win in 2007.

“We saw no willingness to work with the Scottish Government when Gordon Brown was there,” he said.

On Monday, Keir Starmer laid out plans for a new constitutional commission that would “consider how power, wealth and opportunity can be devolved to the most local level” across the UK.

He promised the convention would not be “a project of Westminster, by Westminster and for Westminster”.

“We saw this in the Brexit referendum and we’ve been ignoring it for years. Unless we grasp the nettle and deliver real devolution of power and resources, we won’t be able to renew our United Kingdom for the 2020s and 2030s,” he said.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme yesterday, the former prime minister – who is working with Starmer on the commission – said the constitutional change was necessary to improve the working relationship between the governments in Edinburgh and London.

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“What’s gone wrong in this crisis is that there has not been co-operation. The Scottish Government and the UK Government have not worked well, so we could do this a lot better and remember, this is a life and death issue.”

He said the SNP Government needed to start “talking about how better they can cooperate with the UK to deal with these issues, rather than how they can split off at the moment”.

The SNP’s Brown said the comments were “utter hypocrisy on the part of Gordon Brown”.

He added: “The man who as prime minister couldn’t lift the phone to Alex Salmond for months after he was elected First Minister of Scotland.

“We saw no willingness to work with the Scottish Government when Gordon Brown was there.

“But even worse than that, we’re back to the same old tired routine of assemblies, commissions and conventions.

“And remember, Gordon Brown was the one that told us we would have federalism within two years of the referendum result.”

He added: “And yet it ended up in the Supreme Court with the UK Government saying that the LCM process, the voice of Scotland’s Parliament, was merely a self-denying ordinance.

“That is the squalid result of Gordon Brown’s previous promises on devolution.”