KEIR Starmer has signalled that he will take direct control over Scottish Labour’s position on gender reform as it has become a “UK-wide issue”.

Speaking to the Spectator, the Labour leader was asked if he had spoken to Anas Sarwar – the leader of the party at Holyrood – about the decision to whip his MSPs to back the Gender Reform Recognition Bill.

Starmer said their “offices did”, going on: “Subsequently it has now become a UK-wide issue, not just a Scottish parliament issue.

“So it’s for the Labour party, under my leadership, to take the key decisions as we go forward from there.”

READ MORE: Scottish Labour embroiled in civil war over blocking of gender reform bill

The UK leader’s comments will do little to quell dissatisfaction in the Labour party about its handling of the gender reform process.

Monica Lennon, the MSP who ran against Sarwar for the Scottish Labour leadership, accused Starmer of having “undermined” his colleagues north of the Border through his stance on the GRR bill.

After Scottish Secretary Alister Jack announced he would use Section 35 of the Scotland Act to block the bill’s passing, the UK Labour party attempted to take the middle ground, claiming that both the UK and Scottish Governments were at fault.

Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary and sole Scottish MP, Ian Murray, claimed that there was not “any drive to try and find solutions apart from throwing constitutional bricks at each other”, and called for “real cooperation from both of Scotland's governments”.

However, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Lennon said that Murray's view was "disingenuous" and did not reflect those of the Scottish Labour MSP group.

"I think to get into making this about 'Oh it's two governments, why can't they just along?' … I think that's really disingenuous to frame it in that way.

"So, I take my cue from the position of Scottish Labour, how we voted in December, how we've conducted ourselves throughout the scrutiny of the legislation, and the work led by my Scottish Labour colleague Pam Duncan-Glancy who leads for us on equalities.”

After the Section 35 announcement, Sarwar was silent for two days. When he did speak up, he said that Murray had spoken for the party as shadow secretary for Scotland.

Sarwar further called for a “grown-up approach”, but did say that the use of Section 35 was “wrong”.