SIR Keir Starmer has said he would be a prime minister for the “whole of Scotland”, including those who voted Yes to independence.

The Labour leader was speaking after his party’s by-election win in Rutherglen and Hamilton West – and ahead of its annual conference.

Starmer, inset, claimed to the Daily Record that the SNP were now “on the ropes”.

He added: “What happened here in this constituency, in this by-election, is historic because we ran a positive case for change by a changed Scottish Labour Party, working with a changed Labour Party, and people came out in their thousands.”

Pitching to SNP supporters, he said: “Whether you voted Yes or No in the referendum here in Scotland, I will be a prime minister for the whole of Scotland.”

Labour’s conference begins in Liverpool today, while the SNP will hold their conference in Aberdeen starting on October 15.

Writing in The Scotsman, former SNP frontbencher Stewart McDonald warned his party should not respond to the defeat with an “emotional spasm”.

The Glasgow South MP said the scale of the Labour victory could not be “dismissed or diminished” by the low turnout, saying, “we’ve been skelped and there’s no point in pretending otherwise”.

He said the SNP should take a long-term view when members debate the strategy for independence at the upcoming conference.

Any strategy should not be an “emotional spasm”, he said, arguing: “There are no victories in becoming a fundamentalist tribute act.

“Just look at the Tories.”

Labour MPs, delegates and lobbyists are gathering for five days of policy debate, rallies and networking at what could be the party’s last conference before a General Election expected next year.

Starmer’s deputy, Angela Rayner, who is also shadow levelling up secretary, will focus her main speech on housing as well as pledging “a decent job, a secure home and a strong community” for all under a Labour government.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will take to the main stage tomorrow to detail how Labour would revive the sluggish economy, before Starmer’s keynote address on Tuesday.

The Labour Party women’s conference took place in Liverpool yesterday.

Speaking at it, Starmer pledged to take on tech companies who were helping create “toxic attitudes” towards women.

The Labour leader said a government led by him would “drain the swamp of hate and inequality” by tackling online abuse and cracking down on violence against women and girls.

He said there were still “many battles to win” to defend the right “not to be objectified, demeaned, judged, or worse”.

Starmer said his party would deliver “the reward of reform” by changing the way violence against women and girls was addressed.

Starmer pledged police reform alongside “proper” victims’ legislation, a domestic abuse register and “we’ll take on the tech companies who push misogyny into the minds of our children for profit”.

He added: “The broader lesson is this – don’t succumb to the Tory project, the hope they want to kick out of our country.”

Justice and policing are devolved issues.