ANAS Sarwar has been accused of having “some gall” to claim he stands for workers’ rights over his party’s support for Brexit.

The Scottish Labour leader told an audience at an Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) meeting in Glasgow on “walkout Wednesday” – his was the party of workers and would “always support strikers on the picket lines”.

But his comments were slammed by opponents who said Labour’s belated support for leaving the EU and Keir Starmer’s pledge to “make Brexit work” was "damaging".

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SNP MP Deidre Brock (above) said: “Anas Sarwar has some gall claiming this when the Labour Party’s just a pale imitation of the Tories these days.

“If Labour really wanted to support workers they’d stop damaging workers’ rights, pay and conditions by imposing Brexit, opposing the devolution of employment law, and denying democracy in Scotland.”

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It comes after Starmer last year instructed his shadow cabinet not to attend strikes, saying Labour would no longer be a “party of protest”.

He also said he had “nothing against Labour MPs and others expressing their support” for striking workers.

But Sam Tarry was sacked from his position as shadow local transport minister after appearing on a picket line last year. Labour high command insisted he was removed for having “made up policy on the hoof” in media appearances that had not been approved by party spin doctors.

Greens MSP Maggie Chapman (below), said: “The hypocrisy from the Westminster Labour leadership is staggering.

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“Whether he is banning his colleagues from attending picket lines or parroting Tory lines on Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer has made clear that he can't be trusted to stand up for workers.

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"You can't stand in solidarity when you are hiding. This week saw the biggest strikes for years, but Starmer and his colleagues were nowhere to be seen."

Scottish Labour and Green MSPs refused to go into Parliament on Wednesday in solidarity with members of the civil servants union PCS who were on strike.

SNP politicians, the Conservatives and LibDems all attended Holyrood.

At the STUC’s Right to Strike rally, also attended by SNP MP Amy Callaghan and the party’s Westminster chief Stephen Flynn, Sarwar said: “Let me be clear and unequivocal: Scottish Labour will always support strikers on the picket lines. We are the party of labour and we should never be afraid to reiterate that".

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: "The SNP has some gall harkening on about workers' rights a mere day after their own party crossed picket lines and scheduled parliamentary business on a strike day.

"The SNP's behaviour this week shows that they are not serious about defending worker's rights, pay, or unions.

"While the SNP break picket lines, Labour are on the side of the workers."