A TOP Labour MP has U-turned and refused to say that the “Waspi women” who lost out amid changes to the state pension age are due compensation.

Anneliese Dodds, the chair of the Labour Party, would only say the women impacted deserved “respect” as she was quizzed on the issue on the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg show on Sunday.

It comes after a report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) that found changes to the state pension age were not communicated adequately and those affected should receive an apology and compensation.

On Friday, the National revealed that Scottish Labour had been pressured by their UK bosses not to pledge compensation for the women impacted – despite previously campaigning on the issue.

Appearing on the BBC, Dodds argued that although she and Labour had pledged compensation for Waspi (women against state pension inequality) women in 2019, the UK had chosen not to back that manifesto.

The Labour chair said: “Unfortunately, of course, Labour lost the last election. We did not win on the agenda that we set out to the general public in 2019.

“But also circumstances have changed radically as well. I think very few of us would have expected the mess, sadly, that Liz Truss made of our economy and that continues to be made under Conservative-led government. So we are in different circumstances.

“However, that does not mean that we shouldn't see a very, very strong focus from government. Now we have that ombudsman's report on what happened with the waspi women, we need to see now a response from government. That's what the ombudsman has asked for.”

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Pushed on whether Labour would compensate Waspi women, Dodds said: “Those women deserve respect, that's the most important [thing].

“I think Laura, if I was to sit in your studio and I was to say, plucking out of the air, this is exactly how, for example, compensation should work or other elements of the response to the Waspi women … I don't think they would believe me, frankly, and nor should they.”

Responding, Scottish Energy Secretary Maira McAllan said: “Labour in true form here – saying one thing in opposition and another when they think they can get their hands on power.

“Line appeared to be Waspi women deserve ‘respect’.

“Yes they do – but that starts with compensation.”

The PHSO have suggested that paying Waspi women compensation could cost between £3.5 billion and £10.5 billion, although campaigners are pushing for a higher figure.

The official Waspi campaign called Dodds out on social media, writing: "The best way to show respect to Waspi women is to act quickly to ensure they get compensation for the injustice @PHSOmbudsman has clearly found.

"We will not accept less."

Angela Madden, the chair of the Waspi campaign, said previously: “Rishi Sunak will be on a sticky wicket asking for Waspi women’s votes at these local elections – and at the coming General Election – unless he heeds the clear instructions of the ombudsman that Waspi women should be compensated.

“MPs of all parties signed up to the case for £10,000 compensation each. The Prime Minister has the power to bring legislation before Parliament which would deliver that, and that is what 1950s-born women now rightly expect.”