KEIR Starmer has insisted it is entirely wrong to suggest Gordon Brown’s masterplan for reforming the UK offers “nothing of substance” to the people of Scotland – despite no concrete pledges on immigration or new tax and borrowing powers for Holyrood.

Labour’s New Britain report outlined over 150 pages the party’s plan to reform British democracy but has been branded the “dampest of squibs” by the Scottish Greens, who said it offered “little in the way of change”.

Starmer said the proposals, drawn up by former prime minister Brown, would be subject to refinement and consultation before being implemented by a government under his command.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon 'forced Tories to bring in face masks in schools', Matt Hancock says

The party promised consulting on new borrowing powers for the Scottish Government – but was unable to say how much they would be worth.

And Labour said they would devolve the running of Jobcentres to local government as well as changing the law so Scotland could join international partnerships such as the Nordic Council and the Erasmus scheme, which appeared to be aimed at quashing the SNP’s arguments that Starmer’s party is “as bad as the Tories" on Europe.

The SNP’s constitution spokesperson Tommy Sheppard said Labour had “bottled it” and failed to offer substantial pledges.

When challenged on whether Labour was promising more than it would deliver, Starmer said it was “completely wrong” to suggest this and that the promises of refinement and consultation had shown “how serious” the party was about reform.

He said: “The whole point of the consultation is about implementation.

“The whole point of the consultation is about how would we implement these recommendations. It would be unserious if we didn’t have the consultation about implementing it and you’d be saying to me ‘well, a nice set of recommendations but how’re you going to implement them?’

READ MORE: Two in hospital after Glasgow Christmas market gas explosion

“The fact that we’re consulting on implementation shows you how serious we are because what I want to do is show you how we can carry these through into effect, that means we have got to talk to the people who have got to be directly affected by this about how we best implement them which is the complete opposite of the point you’re putting to me.”

He suggested measures to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an “assembly of nations and regions” which would have a special remit to safeguard the UK constitution were integral to tackling the “root” of problems facing the UK.

Starmer added: “One of the single biggest problems we’ve had in the last 12 years is the economic failure that we’ve had, the failure to grow the economy.

“We’re going to tackle that head-on. We can’t tackle that without the changes, or some of the changes that are in this report today. The only way out of the chaos is to actually deal with the underlying issues and the underlying causes.

“The completely wrong thing to do would be to say we know what the root cause of the weakness of our economy is but we won’t do anything about that, we’ll go for a sticking plaster instead because things are so desperate.’

“It's the complete opposite of the way you’ve put it to me. This shows how serious we are about implementing this report.”

READ MORE: Labour commission unveils 'profoundly underwhelming' plans for 'New Britain'

Shappard said the paper was symbolic of Labour’s “credibility problem”.

The SNP MP said: “Labour’s devolution and constitutional ‘reforms’ are profoundly underwhelming.

“They offer absolutely nothing new of substance to Scotland. This was an opportunity to assert the Claim of Right for Scotland, confirming that Scots have the right to choose how they are governed. Sadly, Labour has bottled it. Labour appeases Scotland in the same breath as offering devolution to provincial English cities, which will leave many Scots dismayed and disillusioned.

“We have heard it all before with plans to abolish the House of Lords. Indeed, I’ve lost count of the number of times Labour manifestoes have promised reform to the unelected upper house. It’s another desperate attempt to get a hint of radicalism into what they’re saying.

“Rest assured, when push comes to shove, you can always rely on Labour to defend the status quo and the British establishment.

“This exemplifies their gaping credibility problem. People across Scotland will see through today’s announcement, realising that under Labour, not much will change.

“It is increasingly clear that independence is the only way to secure the real change needed to build a more equal, democratic country.”

The Scottish Greens finance spokesperson Ross Greer said: “This report is the dampest of squibs. It offers little in the way of change and only goes to show how downright arrogant the Labour Party has become and how hostile it is to the people of Scotland deciding our own future. 

“Gordon Brown has rightly concluded that Westminster isn’t working, something many of us realised a long time ago. It is however frankly stunning to have come to that judgement, only to then deny the people of Scotland a choice on whether or not we remain tied to that failed Westminster system.”