KEIR Starmer is selling out Labour’s core principles in an attempt to appeal to Tory voters, the SNP have said.

After the Labour leader’s sacking of Sam Tarry – a shadow minister who appeared on a picket line this week to support striking rail workers – trade unions reacted furiously, with some suggesting disaffiliation could be on the cards.

Kevin Lindsay, the Scotland organiser for train drivers’ union Aslef, quit the party altogether. He called the sacking a “step too far” and said under Starmer the party is “moving to the right and becoming unrecognisable”.

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“It’s more interested in trying to woo Tory voters in the shires of England than representing working people,” the leading trade unionist said in the wake of his resignation.

Starmer has been out defending the sacking, claiming Tarry was removed because he appeared on media programmes without party permission and made up policy “on the hoof”.

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“It’s not so long ago Keir Starmer was promoting 10 pledges to become Labour leader. But, since then, he has reversed his own pledges while refusing to reverse other damaging Tory policies,” SNP depute leader Keith Brown said.

“Under his weak leadership, Labour now back the Tories’ hard Brexit, they don’t support renationalising key industries, they ignore Scottish democracy, Labour councillors who refuse to vote Tories into administrations in Scotland are suspended, and now front-bench MPs who dare to show solidarity with workers are sacked.”

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Brown (above) went on to say that Scottish voters will be wondering whether Starmer ever intended to keep to his word on his 10 pledges – which included promises on the public ownership of rail, mail, energy and water – or if he was promoting “empty gestures” like predecessor Tony Blair.

“We all know where that led – cuts for lone parents and disabled, tuition fees, a lack of regulated banking leading to a financial crash and the tragedy of the Iraq war. It’s just history repeating itself,” Brown went on.

“Keir Starmer has sold out Labour’s core principles. Everything he does is defined by his fear of the Conservative Party and by losing the support of the trade union movement he is shedding any remaining integrity.

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"Scotland is left with two options: either side of the same Westminster coin with the Tories and Tory-lite Labour, or independence.”

It’s no wonder that more traditional Labour voters are getting behind Scottish independence, the MSP added.

The “on the hoof” policy the Labour chief cited as a reason to sack Tarry is understood to be referring to the MP’s claim on Sky News that every worker should get a pay rise in line with inflation.

However, Starmer has not taken action against shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves who incorrectly told TV viewers that Labour didn’t support rail nationalisation this week.

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Reeves told the BBC that rail nationalisation, and public ownership of other sectors, no longer fits with Labour’s “fiscal rules”.

Starmer later said he agreed with Reeves, calling on the party to be “pragmatic about this rather than ideological”.

But the party insisted Reeves had misheard the question and Labour will continue to support bringing England’s railways into public ownership.

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell commented: "Rachel Reeves went on an interview last week and made up policy on rail nationalisation, which had to be contradicted by the shadow spokesperson on transport within hours.

“I didn’t see Rachel Reeves being sacked.

“I just think this is an unnecessary division when we should be united.”