Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to fight on as Labour leader despite the party’s continued electoral woes.
The UK leader attacked both the SNP and the Conservatives, drawing parallels between the two parties when he gave the keynote speech on the final day of the Scottish Labour conference in Perth to a half-filled hall of around 300 people.
Mr Corbyn has been under pressure since the Conservatives won the Copeland by-election, particularly given woeful figures in national opinion polls, but he was resolute on his future, raising it in front of delegates.
He said: “The result in Copeland was deeply disappointing and of course I take my share of responsibility for it.
“We haven’t done enough yet to rebuild trust with people who have been ripped off and sold out for decades and don’t feel Labour represents them.
“But now is not the time to retreat, to run away or to give up.”
Mr Corbyn said the SNP should be “frankly ashamed” of its record in office and claimed independence would lead to “turbo-charged austerity”.
The London MP also urged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to “respect democracy” by accepting the result of the EU referendum and taking the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum off the table.
He went on to claim that an independent Scotland in Europe would be forced to join the euro and have “a hard border with the rest of Britain”.
Mr Corbyn added: “The SNP likes to say they’re standing up for Scotland.
“But they’re actually standing by and devolving Tory austerity to every doorstep in Scotland.
“They’re not standing up to Theresa May. They’re doing her job.”
Mr Corbyn refused to respond to questions from reporters on the tenability of his position, while an aide switched off one journalist’s dictaphone.
Angus Robertson, the SNP’s deputy leader, said: “Instead of standing up for Scotland’s democratic will, Labour’s answer is to cave in to right-wing Tory Brexiteers who are threatening Scotland with the economic cliff edge of a hard Brexit – that is simply unforgiveable.”
Earlier, Dave Anderson, the shadow Scottish secretary, used his address at to call for party unity.
He spoke shortly after Mr Corbyn arrived at the Perth venue to chat to delegates ahead of his speech later on Sunday.
Mr Anderson told the conference: “We won’t win anything if we aren’t united. And we won’t win anything if we don’t make a genuine offer to our people – especially those who feel that, even in government, Labour wasn’t listening to their needs and worries.”