LABOUR’S deputy leader has appealed to SNP voters for backing at the next election – but refused to say if her party would ever agree to an independence referendum.

In a speech at the STUC’s annual congress Angela Rayner said she wanted to “make a direct appeal to people who have voted SNP in the past”, saying she shared the desire to get rid of the Tories.

But when questioned on whether Labour would give a section 30 order if asked by First Minister Humza Yousaf, she said that was “not for me to decide”.

And asked if there were any circumstances in which her party would agree to another independence vote, Rayner said it was not a priority for people who were “exhausted” by referendums.

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In her speech Rayner told STUC delegates gathered in Dundee: “More than ever we need politicians actually focused on delivering change.

“It starts with recognising we can only make a better Scotland for workers by making an economy that works for the people of Aberdeen, Angus, Ayr as well as it does for my community in Ashton-under-Lyme in Greater Manchester.

“And so I want to make a direct appeal to people who have voted SNP in the past – I totally understand your desire for change, I share it.

“I recognise your desire to get rid of the Tories, I share it. I know you dream of a brighter future, it is a dream that both me and Keir share.”

Speaking to the media afterwards, Rayner said Labour planned to break the dominance of the SNP by putting forward a “credible plan” for the whole of the UK with answers to the “real challenges” that people are facing.

In response to whether a request from Yousaf for a section 30 order would be declined by Labour, she said: “I would say to SNP voters I understand their desire for change as a working-class kid from Greater Manchester.

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“We feel that need for change and we’re frustrated by being held back for generations.

“We need the same solutions, it is not about breaking away from each other it is about working together.”

Pressed further on the issue she she said: "That’s not for me to decide whether that would happen or not ... we are very clear we want a Labour government and we want Labour MPs.

"So we are working to win for Labour and the only way we will get rid of the Conservatives is by voting for Labour come a General Election."

And when asked if there were any circumstances in which Labour would allow an independence referendum, she responded: “I don’t believe the people in Scotland or across the United Kingdom their number one priority is around referendums.

“I think we are all exhausted with referendums and where that has taken us.”