Former First Minister Henry McLeish has warned voting against a second referendum on Scottish independence would be “against democracy”.
Mr McLeish, who served as leader of the then-Scottish Executive between 2000-2001, said: “People keep talking about an Indyref2. What we need to be talking about is a referendum about the future of Scotland.
“There’s a wider issue and the fact is that the polls really haven’t moved since 2014 in terms of independence.
“There is a window of opportunity. But the point is that Labour cannot be seen just to be sticking to old shibboleths, old ideas.
“This is 2020. We’re 120 years on from the party being created and I think if we change our views in Scotland, we will change the mood.
“There is a Labour vote in Scotland that would want to vote Labour.”
Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips said her party would be “100% committed to the union”.
Ahead of her visit, Ms Phillips accused the SNP of being a “threat to opportunity and equality” for working people in Scotland.
“The idea that the answer to the UK leaving a union with our most important trading partner is for Scotland to leave a union with her most important trading partner only makes sense if you’re a nationalist,” said Ms Phillips.
“Nicola Sturgeon wants to talk to me about threats to Scotland – the SNP’s abject failings on education and health show that it is her administration that remains a threat to opportunity and equality for working people in Scotland.”
Ms Phillips also said Labour should be making the case for solidarity and “internationalism”.
“Labour believes in the union because we believe in redistribution, because we want to bring people together, not divide them, and because our compassion doesn’t end at an imaginary line on a map. Let nationalists make the case for nationalism, we should make the argument for solidarity and internationalism.”
Ms Phillips is one of five candidates through to the next stage of the leadership contest.
Favourite Sir Keir Starmer, Corbyn “apprentice” Rebecca Long Bailey, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy are also all still in the running.
Backbench Nandy outlined her vision to convince voters across the nation that they are fighting the same battle, during a speech in Brexit-backing Dagenham, east London, moments after nominations closed to push her into the next round.
She stressed yesterday that Labour cannot “steady the ship or play it safe” in recovering from the worst general election result since 1935, or the party “will die and we will deserve to”.