A LABOUR peer who sparked controversy after claiming that the UK is not and “was never meant to be” a Union of equals has doubled-down.

It comes after George Foulkes, speaking to the BBC on Wednesday morning, insisted that the idea of an equal Union was simply a “myth that has been put around by the SNP”.

The Labour lord was appearing on Good Morning Scotland to talk about the possibility of the UK Government imposing sanctions on devolved administrations for working in reserved areas.

READ MORE: Tony Blair's Scotland Act message undermines 'not Union of equals' claim

Foulkes, a former MP and MSP, was asked if the UK was a “Union of equal partners”.

He replied: “No, it was never meant to be a Union of equal partners. That is a myth that has been put around by the SNP.

“We each have our own responsibilities … [MPs, MSPs, and peers] have our own responsibilities but they’re different. To call them equal is not the right word, they’re different. They have different responsibilities.”

The comments were jumped on by the SNP, with First Minister Humza Yousaf accusing Foulkes of having said “the quiet part out loud”.

Questions were also raised after a handwritten message on a copy of the Scotland Act, sent from Tony Blair to Donald Dewar, revealed the former Labour prime minister had seen devolution as putting Scotland and England “together on equal terms”.

But, approached by The National, Foulkes insisted that he was correct.

“I merely stated the true position, not that which the SNP misleadingly portray,” the Labour peer said.

“The United Kingdom is a unitary state, a member of the UN and other international bodies as such.

“It has devolved certain powers to Holyrood, the Welsh Senedd and the Northern Ireland Assembly and indeed, to a more limited extent, to London.”

Foulkes was asked if he had a response to Joanna Cherry KC, who said he had been “all over the place” during his BBC interview.

“Very confused about difference between 300-year-old Union between Scotland and England and modern devolved settlement,” Cherry added.

Foulkes responded: “I don’t see what she is getting at …

“The SNP boycotted the Scottish Constitutional Convention because they did not support devolution and only came round to support it when [Alex] Salmond saw they could use it as a slippery slope towards independence, which is what they have been doing.

“But the architects of devolution saw it as a completely different concept from independence because it accepts the continuation of the United Kingdom.”

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Asked if he thought the architects of the 1707 Act of Union intended for the result to be a union of equals, Foulkes said it was "impossible to guess what they were thinking in 1707".

He went on: "I know the current position which I have stated, based on my study of it over the past 50 years.

"We have certainly transformed from a centralised London-based administration towards devolved powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all brought in by Labour, but we now need proper devolution to the regions of England."

Mhairi Black, the SNP’s depute leader at Westminster, said Scots had “known for some time the UK hasn’t been a partnership of equals”.

“That is why we’ve had continuous Tory governments we do not vote for imposed on us, and why we were dragged out of the European Union against our will,” she went on.

“It's increasingly clear the pro-Brexit Labour Party can't be trusted to stand up for Scotland. Lord Foulkes has let the cat out of the bag by admitting the UK is not a partnership of equals.

"By saying the quiet part out loud, and demanding the UK Government impose sanctions against the Scottish Government for carrying out its democratic mandate, the unelected Lord Foulkes has shown the Labour Party can't be trusted to defend Scottish democracy.”

Foulkes has made several headlines over recent weeks for his questioning of top UK Government figures on what actions they are taking to prevent the Scottish Government spending on independence.

As the constitution is reserved to Westminster, Foulkes has argued for UK officials to probe any spending from the Scottish Government on the issue.

Simon Case, the UK's most senior civil servant, told Foulkes earlier in the month that work looking at devolved administrations' spending in reserved areas was ongoing.

And Tory peer and Cabinet Office minister Lucy Neville-Rolfe said on Monday that the UK Government would consider what "sanctions" could be imposed on devolved administrations for any breaches.