Alistair Darling has written to thousands of voters in a key Labour target seat urging them to reject a second independence referendum by backing the party.
The ex-cabinet minister is campaigning on behalf of Blair McDougall, a former colleague in the Better Together campaign, in East Renfrewshire.
Darling said McDougall was the best candidate to take on the SNP in the constituency - one of the most affluent in the country - and urged voters not “to risk letting the Nationalists back in”.
“I am delighted with Alistair Darling’s endorsement,” McDougall said. “He and I brought together voters from across the political spectrum to stop the SNP in 2014 and I can do it again in East Renfrewshire.
“East Renfrewshire is home for me. I was raised here and I’m raising my family here. I want to be a campaigning local MP focused on making our home better rather than on dividing us from our neighbours.
“I won’t go to Westminster to back a hard Brexit or to cheer lead for independence. If voters want to send Nicola Sturgeon a message to drop her plans for a divisive second independence referendum, they must vote Labour on June 8.
“A vote for any other party simply risks letting the SNP back in, and increases the risk of another unwanted referendum.”
East Renfrewshire was won by Labour at four consecutive general elections before Kirsten Oswald was returned in 2015 with a majority of of 3,718.
Oswald, who is standing again for the SNP, said: “This election is about protecting Scotland from the dangers of an unopposed Tory government at Westminster.
“Now more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland. Only then can we protect Scotland’s schools, hospitals and pensions from unnecessary Tory cuts.”