Independence supporters gather at a socially-distanced rally in Bannockburn in August

No need for another referendum on Scottish independence, says Keir Starmer

The UK Labour leader pledged his party will "make the argument for the Union" between now and next year's Holyrood election.


Scotland does not need another referendum on independence as it is in "all of our interests" to keep the UK together, Keir Starmer has said.

The Labour leader used an interview today to insist the Union was safe in his party's hands and promised he would campaign ahead of next year's Holyrood elections against calls for an IndyRef2.

The constitutional debate has been reignited in Scotland following a series of opinion polls this year suggesting rising support for independence.

Nicola Sturgeon wants the UK Government to grant Holyrood the powers to hold another legally-binding referendum on the issue but Boris Johnson has so far flatly refused.

Mark Drakeford, the Labour leader in Wales, last week argued the decision to hold another vote on the constitution was for "the people of Wales or the people of Scotland to make that decision, and then that decision must be respected".

In an interview with LBC today, Starmer insisted no one in his party wanted to see the UK broken up.

Asked if the Union was safe in Labour's hands, he said: "Yes. I strongly support the United Kingdom.

"I think it's in all of our interests to hold together the UK - I think dealing with the pandemic has shown that.

"We need to make the case for the UK. Mark Drakeford was making the point about who decides in certain circumstances.

"But no one in the Labour party wants the UK broken up."

Asked if he would stand in the way of a potential IndyRef2, Starmer added: "We will go into the elections in Scotland making the argument for the Union and making the argument that we don't need a referendum.

"Obviously, that election is in May of next year and we'll make the best case we can between now and then."

The Record has asked the SNP for comment.