GERRY Adams has said he hopes Jeremy Corbyn will become the next Prime Minister, as he spoke of his “outstanding” political abilities.

The outgoing Sinn Fein president also praised the Labour leader and his allies for meeting with Irish republicans during the Troubles when most UK politicians would not.

“Well, I would like to see Jeremy in that position for the benefit of people in Britain, leaving Ireland out of it,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“I think Jeremy is an outstanding politician, I hope my endorsement of him isn’t used against him in the time ahead, but yes, he and Ken Livingstone and others kept faith and they were the people who said, when others said no, talk.

“They were the people who were open to conversation about how to deal with conflict and how to get a conflict resolution process, but let’s not pre-empt the next general election.”

The former MP, who now sits in the Dail, the Irish Parliament in Dublin, also hit out at the UK Government over its approach to Brexit, which he said would be “disastrous” for Ireland.

“The British government are not at all clear about what their future relationship with the European Union is going to be,” he added.

“They’re arguing that they’re going to leave the customs union and single market and that will end up a complete disaster for people here on the island of Ireland.”

Adams also named Tony Blair as the most significant British player in the Northern Ireland peace process, but added that he later warned the former Labour Prime Minister against invading Iraq.

He said: “We actually, myself and Martin [McGuinness] actually warned him about not getting involved in Iraq. We said look at the Irish experience, don’t go in there.”

Meanwhile, in a major speech tonight Richard Leonard will say that the Scottish Government should focus on increasing Scotland’s productivity to face the economic challenges of Brexit.

It what has been described by one newspaper yesterday as a “Brexit acceptance speech”, the Scottish Labour leader will addresses the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh this evening.

As part of a series of leaders’ speeches, all looking at the future for Scotland in the aftermath of Brexit, Leonard will focus on how the Scottish Government could use the powers of the Parliament to increase productivity and create a high skilled, high wage economy.

He will say that tackling low productivity rate is essential to producing a high wage economy, and that post-Brexit, the SNP cannot use EU regulations as a “fig leaf” to stop government procurement being used to drive up employment standards.

He is expected to say: “According to the Scottish Government’s worst-case scenario analysis, a fall in migration by 2030 will account for a 2.5 per cent decrease in Scotland’s income. But in that very same analysis, productivity will account for a 5.8 per cent reduction in our GDP.

“With the Scottish Government finding that the fall in income overwhelmingly comes from a decline in productivity, perhaps Brexit should inject some added urgency to the longstanding need to tackle the long term problem of Scotland’s productivity gap.

“Increasing the level of productivity is the key to achieving sustainable economic development, to raising incomes and to creating better quality employment. The Scottish Government should take a more active approach to improving Scotland’s productivity problem by fully utilising the £11 billion lever that is public procurement.”

Leonard is coming under pressure within his party to back single market membership with Labour MP Ian Murray last week saying Labour’s idea of a “jobs first Brexit” is a contradiction in terms.