Gordon Brown tipped to front new project aiming to stop Scottish independence

FORMER prime minister Gordon Brown is being tipped to front a new Labour Party initiative which aims to stop Scotland becoming independent.

Labour leader Keir Starmer is set to unveil the party’s new UK-wide constitutional convention soon.

He had been set to deliver a speech on the future of the UK tomorrow but he delayed it as Brexit took precedence.

According to the Daily Record the Labour convention will put together a blueprint for reform across the UK with promises of more powers for the devolved nations and the English regions.

Starmer pledged to establish a constitutional convention earlier in the year, calling for a “new settlement for the UK”.

Sources say Brown, who has said he wants to see a “new UK constitution”, will lead the project.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard – whose party has been polling as low as 14% ahead of the Holyrood election – said he had been speaking with Starmer about his “vision” for reform.

“I am particularly keen that the Scottish Labour is in the driving seat of that,” he added.

Leonard also called for the convention to be set up “early next year, as soon as possible”.

The National:

Speaking as Starmer called off his speech on devolution yesterday with Brexit considered the more dominant topic, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said: “No amount of constitutional tinkering of the kind proposed by Labour would protect Scotland from Brexit or a Tory power grab – only independence will do that.”

News of Starmer’s speech broke last week, with independence campaigners describing the idea of a new devo-max-style pledge as “The Vow 2.0”.

In 2014 Scotland was told it would have the “best of both worlds” as an “equal partner” in the Union – but the SNP say these promises have “turned to dust”.

READ MORE: PMQs: Boris Johnson can’t explain why 15 polls show most Scots want independence

In the month of the independence referendum Brown was one of those pledging more powers would be guaranteed after a No vote.

He claimed then that the UK would be “irreversibly transformed” by new devolution, but the promise fell flat.

Labour’s push for a new constitutional convention comes after 15 consecutive polls put support for independence ahead of support for the Union.

Polls have shown support for leaving the UK as high as 58% in recent weeks.



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