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Jess Phillips outlines opposition to second Scottish independence vote

The Labour MP is bidding to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as the party’s leader.

Jess Phillips made the comments on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Jess Phillips made the comments on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Lewis McKenzie and Conor Riordan, PA Scotland reporters

Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips has said she “can’t see a circumstance” where it would be better for Scotland to leave the UK.

Ms Phillips, who announced she would be standing to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader on Friday, also said that not having a clear position on Scottish independence and Brexit is a key reason why the party has lost elections.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, the Birmingham Yardley MP outlined her opposition to having another vote on independence.

“I think that some of the reasons that we lost in Scotland and have been losing in Scotland for some time – this isn’t wholly down to the last general election – is that we have, since the referendum up there, not necessarily had a clear position on the two big constitutional questions of the day,” said Ms Phillips.

“I think that people, when they look at a political party, if they are not certain on what they are saying on any one thing, they lose trust with the public.”

She added: “I don’t think we should have another referendum on Scottish independence – 53% of the Scottish public in the general election did not vote for a party that was promoting independence.

“I think that we should be talking about things that are relevant to the lives of people in Scotland.

“I can’t see a circumstance where I think it would be better for Scotland to leave the UK.”

Labour clearly hasn’t learned a thing and is still hopelessly out of touch if it thinks it can ignore democracy Tommy Sheppard, SNP MP

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said Labour would continue to “fade into political irrelevance” in Scotland as long as the party does not respect the country’s right to self-determination.

“These comments smack of arrogance and the same high-handed, dismissive attitude that has caused support for Labour to collapse in Scotland,” said Mr Sheppard.

“Labour clearly hasn’t learned a thing and is still hopelessly out of touch if it thinks it can ignore democracy and deny people in Scotland a choice over our future.

“As long as Labour politicians think they can lecture from Westminster and refuse to respect Scotland’s right to self-determination, they will continue to fade into political irrelevance.

“The SNP won a landslide victory at the general election, with over 80% of Scotland’s seats represented by the SNP on a mandate of protecting Scotland’s right to choose its own future – and the people of Scotland will have that choice.”

PA

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