A UK government led by Keir Starmer would not shut down Scotland’s international offices as Conservative Foreign Secretary David Cameron has threatened to do, Labour have suggested.

The comments come after a row between the UK and Scottish governments over meetings held by First Minister Humza Yousaf and foreign officials at the COP28 climate summit.

In April, then-foreign secretary James Cleverly issued a diktat to all UK diplomats saying that all meetings between SNP ministers and overseas governments must be organised through the UK Government and attended by its own officials.

Cleverly told UK officials to “confidently” represent “the strengths of the Union” amid fears that the Edinburgh government is successfully engaging abroad “to promote Scottish separatism”.

READ MORE: SNP blast Westminster for 'silencing Scotland's voice' with meetings threat

While visiting COP28 in the UAE, Yousaf is alleged to have broken the rule on five occasions, including a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Cameron threatened to close Scotland’s overseas offices amid a row which saw Yousaf brand the Tory peer “petty”.

Asked if a Labour government would impose similar restrictions on movements abroad to the Conservatives, a spokesperson suggested that they would not.

Starmer’s official spokesperson told journalists at Westminster: "We obviously recognise that the First Minister of Scotland has a role to play in terms of promoting Scotland internationally and that’s an important part of the role that they have."

The National: David Cameron returns to the Cabinet (James Manning/PA)

Amid the row about Scotland’s presence overseas, the First Minister said Cameron (above) had been “misguided”.

He said: “Scotland is the part of the UK, outside of London, that has attracted the most foreign direct investment for eight years in a row, that happens because the Scottish Government’s international engagement is valued [and] has impact.

“To threaten to curtail that, to stop that international engagement, the international engagement from the elected Scottish Government from an unelected lord – I think is misguided and petty.”

Speaking at Holyrood on Tuesday, Scottish External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson told MSPs that Cameron’s threats had been “all the more surprising” because he had cancelled a meeting between the two governments at which the issues were to be discussed.