GORDON Brown has claimed that people must move away from “nationalism” and towards “patriotism”.

The former Labour leader was speaking at a pro-Union rally which the dark money think tank he founded, Our Scottish Future, was hosting in Edinburgh on Thursday.

Brown’s comments have sparked criticism, with the SNP’s head of digital, Ross Colquhoun, saying he was attempting to rebrand “British nationalism”.

Our Scottish Future quoted Brown as saying: "We've got to move on from 19th century nationalism to 21st century patriotism."

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In a clip which the think tank shared on social media, the former prime minister said: “Nationalism, which is really 19th century nationalism, that wanted a nationalist state with all the trappings of nationhood. A separate army, separate currency, separate borders.

“We’ve got to move on from that to a 21st century patriotism. Where we recognise that people love our country, our history, our traditions, our institutions, but they understand that in an interdependent, integrated, interconnected world, we have to work together for the common good.

“Otherwise, by dividing, we will hurt ourselves separately.”

Responding to the clip, Colquhoun wrote: “Translation: Labour’s British nationalism is better than other nationalisms because we’ve rebranded it as patriotism and think you are daft enough to fall for it.”

SNP Trade Minister Richard Lochhead quipped: “I take it this is a speech slamming Labour and the Tories for supporting Brexit?”

University of Glasgow historian Dr Ewan Gibbs commented: “But famously, Scottish nationalism barely existed before the 20th century.

“That’s aside from the redundant attempt to distinguish ‘nationalism’ from ‘patriotism’.”

Bella Caledonia added: "I'm really confused by this. Does this mean Gordon doesn't think nation states should exist, and just 'areas of patriotism'? Its incredible such incoherent horseshit gets airplay."

And former SNP councillor Mhairi Hunter said: “But a Union signed off in 1707 must be preserved at all costs …”

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The Our Scottish Future event also saw Brown, along with other Labour figures such as Anas Sarwar, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham launch the “Alliance for Radical Democratic Change”.

The group said they wanted to “implement wide-ranging proposals for the reform of the UK – to end the centralisation of power in Whitehall and Westminster”.

However, without the backing of party leader Keir Starmer – who has recently spoken out against reforming Westminster's voting system – the group will find it extremely difficult to actually implement UK-wide change.

Sarwar told the approximately 300 people at the pro-Union rally that Scottish Labour would lead the party to a majority at Westminster in the next election.

“I’m going to make you a promise and a commitment today,” he said.

“There used to be a time when people thought that Scotland would hinder, or stop or make us not achieve a UK-wide Labour government.

“I can promise you this – come the next General Election, Scotland’s going to lead the way to deliver that majority Labour government.”