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Indyref2 a ‘serious prospect’, Kezia Dugdale says as she departs Holyrood

The former Scottish Labour leader said she thought either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn may give the go ahead for a fresh vote on independence.

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale warned there is a ‘serious prosepct’ of another vote on independence. (Jane Barlow/PA)
Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale warned there is a ‘serious prosepct’ of another vote on independence. (Jane Barlow/PA)

A second independence referendum is a “serious prospect”, former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has said.

Ms Dugdale told how she believed either UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn or Conservative leadership favourite Boris Johnson could give way and allow a vote to be held if they get into Downing Street.

She suggested that Mr Johnson may permit a fresh ballot on Scotland’s place in the union because he is a “gambler” who might “roll the dice on indyref2 because he feels like it”.

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Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She added that Mr Corbyn could potentially agree a referendum as part of a deal with the SNP to get Labour into power if there was to be a hung parliament after the next general election.

Ms Dugdale, speaking on her last day as an MSP, told BBC Scotland’s Podlitical podcast: “I can see a scenario where the SNP go to Jeremy Corbyn and say we will vote for every one of your budgets in the lifetime of your parliament in return for indyref2.

“At that point the Labour Party has to decide, does it appease the SNP and give them indyref2 in order to be in power – or does it give up the prospect of being in power in order to protect the union?”

In those circumstances she said the UK leader, who she clashed with during her time in charge of Scottish Labour, might choose to “appease the SNP”.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Owen Humphreys/PA)

She stated: “It’s hard to see, from my understanding, why he would walk away from power at that moment.

“I don’t know that to be true, but it’s just my feeling.”

On the possibility of a second referendum Ms Dugdale, who is taking up a new job as director of the John Smith Centre at Glasgow University, said: “I think it’s a serious prospect, and I don’t say that in any attempt to cause a political drama – although I’m sure some people will perceive it that way.”

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