NICOLA Sturgeon has challenged Richard Leonard to clarify his “feeble” position on Brexit.

The First Minister said Labour’s stance on leaving the European Union was “bizarre and inexcusable”, adding it was doing “literally nothing” to challenge the Tories on the issue.

Since taking over as Scottish Labour leader Leonard has aligned with UK leader Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit, pledging to respect the result of the EU referendum but claiming that permanent membership of the single market without being a member of the EU would leave the UK having to take its rules with no say.

His predecessor Kezia Dugdale and leadership rival Anas Sarwar both backed single market membership.

Sturgeon, who backs remaining in the single market, told the Sunday Herald: “Scottish Labour’s position – in line with that of their London bosses – is utterly bizarre and inexcusable. They are effectively backing the Tories’ extreme Brexit plans, which threaten many thousands of Scottish jobs and risk doing huge damage to our economy and society.

“Labour have already taken a hit in the polls as people realise they are doing literally nothing to fight the Tories’ chaotic Brexit plans. That trend is only likely to grow as more and more people across Scotland, including Labour supporters who oppose Brexit, see just how feeble the party is on the biggest single issue facing the country.”

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said the party would fight for a “jobs first Brexit”. “This is typical posturing from Nicola Sturgeon, which is as much about opportunistically pursuing her own constitutional obsession and using Brexit as the means to achieve that.

“In the meantime, Labour will get on with fighting the shambolic Tories’ bargain basement Brexit at every opportunity.”

Scottish and Welsh ministers will brief peers today on the need for key Brexit legislation to be amended. Scotland’s Brexit Minister Michael Russell and Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford will be in London to try to to impress upon the House of Lords their concerns about the impact of the EU Withdrawal Bill on the devolution settlement.

The joint event takes place ahead of the Bill’s second reading in the Lords tomorrow and on Wednesday.

The Scottish and Welsh administrations have said they cannot recommend consent be given to the Bill in its current form, branding it a “power grab”.

Amendments to the legislation promised when it was before MPs in the the Commons did not transpire meaning changes will have to be made in the Lords. Russell said: “As the bill moves to the House of Lords, it is vital that peers are informed of our position.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour’s Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay has come under attack for a social media post in which he mocked the Scots language and The National.

Responding to a tweet where Sturgeon defended a free press and its role in scrutinising politicians after the Daily Mail ran an apology for an inaccurate report suggesting she was responsible for a change in policy on public buildings flying the Union flag, Findlay tweeted: “It luks lik Nikula wants to shut doom the nashunal.”

The post prompted a furious response, including from Labour members and supporters. Sarah Massey reponded: “As a Labour member I am appalled at this tweet. She was challenging Daily Mail’s lies. I would have expected her to have your support in doing so [and] I do not expect someone like you to make such childish offensive responses even if you disagree.”

Lawyer Jonathan Mitchell QC tweeted: “This Labour MSP’s text isn’t clear, but his sub-text is very clear: to be Scots is to be illiterate, stupid, and contemptible.

“I can’t imagine him tweeting something like this to mock Jamaicans or Jews, and if he did he’d rightly be called out as a racist.”