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‘No Scottish Labour revival without a second independence referendum’

‘No Scottish Labour revival without a second independence referendum’

The SNP needs to lose a second independence referendum before Labour can properly recover in Scotland, senior UK figures believe.

Thoughts of a bounce in the polls north of the border because of so-called “Corbynmania” have been dispelled by strategists who believe the constitution will continue to repel the hard left.

It came as Welsh MP Stephen Kinnock warned the UK has a maximum shelf life of 20 years unless a federal structure is put in place.

One former minister told The Courier: “I don’t think the Labour Party in Scotland can have a revival until the SNP have lost a second referendum. I just don’t know when they will call one. They are under pressure but obviously don’t want to hold it while they will still lose.”

Although recent polls have shown an increase in support for independence, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told activists last week that there are no shortcuts to Scotland leaving the UK.

And deputy leader, Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie, admitted at the weekend that “if we have a second one (referendum), we have to win it”, but insisted he was not worried about Mr Corbyn stealing left wing votes from his party.

Other influential UK Labour members are encouraging the idea of more autonomy for the Scottish party.

Mr Kinnock, son of former Labour leader Neil, told a fringe event yesterday that “the economic and social and constitutional foundations of our country are actually cracking beneath our feet.”

He said: “I think that the United Kingdom will die as an entity within the next 20 years, as a maximum, unless we federalise.” The Aberavon MP also called for the Treasury to be broken up as part of a “root and branch review of central government”, replaced by anew department to deal with the first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

He added: “[The leaders] should actually be invited to a proper negotiation with the prime minister and the chancellor around a devolution settlement for the devolved nations.”

One stumbling block, according to those close to previous leaderships, is Mr Corbyn’s devolution inexperience.

“What’s probably needed is a federal Labour Party,” said another source.

“That way we could let people see that decisions made by Scottish Labour are really made in Scotland. That might be what the constitutional convention agrees to but it’s not in Corbyn’s nature.

“He isn’t aware of much outside of the north London party bubble. His group are the old guard who were traditionally hostile to devolution.

“In the socialist state everyone is the same so what is the need for it, was their view.”

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