SUPPORT for Scottish independence will grow because of “disillusionment with Westminster politics”, Jeremy Corbyn has predicted.

The former Labour leader told The National he no longer believed Westminster should block Scots from having the “right to decide their own future”.

In their 2019 manifesto, Labour ruled out granting a second referendum in the “early years of a UK Labour government”.

Since stepping down as Labour leader, Corbyn has reversed his opposition to indyref2 – predicting in 2021 that it would come “in a few years”.

Asked whether a Keir Starmer (below) government would boost the case for independence, Corbyn said: “I think the demands for Scottish independence are likely to grow on the basis of disillusionment with Westminster politics, but it is fundamentally a democratic argument and my view was that the Scottish people should have a right to decide their own future.

The National: Keir Starmer

“I don’t think it should be up to Westminster to prevent a vote taking place, any more than it should be a vote taking place on a border poll in Northern Ireland.”

Support for independence is on the rise, with an Ipsos poll last month putting Yes on 53%. 

It is one of a number of polls in recent months to put support for independence higher than support for the Union. 

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The National in his London office, Corbyn admitted the party had failed to put forward a strong enough constitutional offer for the 2019 election – which saw the party once again reduced to just one Scottish MP.

He claimed that despite work by Labour peer Pauline Bryan on devolution and the creation of a “federal Britain”, the party did not have enough time to “develop” their constitutional policy.

Corbyn said: “We were working on it, we hadn’t completed our work on it. I asked Pauline [Bryan] to head up a commission on this, which she did and worked very hard on it […] we were moving in the direction so that we would have a much more federal settlement.”

READ MORE: Scottish independence referendum is 'the right thing to do', says Jeremy Corbyn

But he added that given the 2019 General Election came just two and a half years after the previous poll, there “wasn’t enough time as – frankly – we needed to develop some of these policies”.

“Obviously I regret not holding onto the gains we made in 2017. I think it is a question of a more rapid policy development, particularly by Scottish Labour in the direction of the options of federalism but I get the feeling that Scottish Labour is now more in tune with those issues,” said Corbyn.

He added: “The issue is also the powers of the devolved assemblies and the lack of democratic federalism across Britain. The work of Pauline Bryan and others have done on an ultra-federal Britain, I think also ought to be put before the people so that we can have […] an examination of how we can become a much more democratic society.”

The National: Gordon Brown

And he cast doubt on whether the reforms promised in Gordon Brown’s (above) constitutional report would ever be delivered.

“I agree with the direction that Gordon’s [Brown] trying to take it in, which is the end of the House of Lords,” he said.

But Corbyn added: “Starmer himself said, as most prime ministers have said, it’s not a priority […] No government has ever really succeeded in reforming the House of Lords in any effectively democratic way.”