ANAS Sarwar has been challenged over his newfound support of a hard Brexit and has been told he is not “standing up for Scotland”.

The Scottish Labour leader said it would be “inconsistent” of him to oppose a second independence referendum and back a second vote on Brexit.

Appearing on ITV’s Peston, Sarwar was challenged on his changed position on Brexit, having previously argued for building “as close a relationship [with the EU] as possible going forward”.

Sarwar was asked: “[London mayor] Sadiq Khan has made it absolutely clear that he thinks the UK should go back to the single market, so why aren’t you standing up for Scotland in the same way he says he’s standing up for London?”

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London, like Scotland, overwhelmingly backed staying in the EU and the mayor has challenged Keir Starmer, who now also backs a hard Brexit with no return to freedom of movement, the single market or customs union on the agenda.

Sarwar said: “We had a vote in Parliament, it didn’t pass. But having a UK Government that is proactive in saying when it is in our interests to work with the European Union, in the British national interest, around trade, around the economy, around jobs then we should be brave enough to do that.

“Do we need to have a better, more aligned relationship with the European Union? Yes. Do we need to work together when it’s in our interest? Yes.

“Are we going back into the European Union? Sadly not.”

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Labour’s newfound Brexit backing made the case for Scottish independence urgent.

He said Boris Johnson’s main legacy as Prime Minister was “dishonesty”, adding: “But the other legacy is Brexit—and that will stay, because I am sad to say that the Labour party now fully supports it.

“Scotland wants a different future, not just a different Prime Minister, so if the Prime Minister will not resign, will he call a general election and allow Scotland the choice of an independent future, free from the control of Westminster?”

The Prime Minister is expected to announce his resignation today, following the effective collapse of his Government which has seen more than 50 ministers quit and a large cadre of senior figures telling Johnson to resign.