LABOUR have been urged to dump their “increasingly untenable” opposition to indyref2 after former leader Jeremy Corbyn said having a second vote is the “right thing to do”.

Speaking at an Edinburgh Fringe show on Tuesday, the MP – who has been expelled from the parliamentary party by Keir Starmer – said it was “not right” for Westminster to tell Scotland it “cannot have a choice” on the constitutional question.

Jeremy Corbyn was speaking at an event in Edinburgh

In an interview with the Times journalist Graham Spiers at the event, called In Conversation With Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader said: “If the people of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament demand a referendum, then that’s absolutely the right thing to do.

“I don’t think it’s right for the Westminster government to say no, you cannot have a choice. You have to have a choice. You have got to do it with your eyes open.

“What’s the economic option that’s on offer? What’s the relationship that could be and would a federal settlement work better?”

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The UK Government announced on Tuesday it had submitted its counter-arguments in the Supreme Court case to determine whether Holyrood can hold a referendum without Westminster’s permission.

They are expected to argue that the Scottish Government would need to have reserved powers on the constitution temporarily devolved through a Section 30 order to carry out a second vote – but the Scottish Government and SNP are arguing because the referendum would not be legally-binding, this is unnecessary.

Starmer has confirmed he would block a Section 30 order if he became the next prime minister, saying having another vote on Scotland’s future would be “divisive”.

The SNP have capitalised on Corbyn’s comments, saying he has shown the Islington North MP understands “that Labour’s stand with the Tories in trying to block democracy is increasingly untenable”.

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Michelle Thomson, SNP MSP for Falkirk East, said: “After the SNP's overwhelming victory last May, the case for holding a referendum is undeniable and Scottish Labour's ludicrous Trump-like denial of this is one of the many reasons people across Scotland do not trust them.  

"Whilst Anas Sarwar continues to team up with the Tories - supporting Brexit, dodgy council coalitions and standing in the way of Scotland's choice - it only serves to illustrate that Scotland needs to have the chance to build a better future as an independent country and escape a future controlled by Westminster parties intent on ignoring our voice."

Starmer has come under fire in recent weeks for his tepid response to widespread strikes across the country – including sacking one of his top team for appearing on a picket line.

But asked for his view on his successor’s approach to industrial disputes, Corbyn said he did not want to wade into “personal politics”.