Alex Rowley, who challenged party leader Kezia Dugdale’s authority through his vocal support for Jeremy Corbyn during this summer’s divisive leadership contest, dismissed both unionism and nationalism as “narrow ideologies” and said: “I have never considered myself a unionist.”
Ms Dugdale has sought to make her unequivocal support for the union clear following Labour’s disastrous Scottish election result in May, which saw it fall behind the Conservatives.
But Mr Rowley said: “I do not think Scottish Labour can accept that Nationalist ideology is more important than our commitment to reducing inequality, developing our economy and fighting for social justice, just as we cannot accept that the status quo in the form of Westminster and Whitehall can deliver the kind of society that we want to achieve for our country and the rest of the UK.”
He said that Labour should “set out its vision of a post-Brexit Scotland which will include home rule within a confederal United Kingdom.”
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “Every Scottish Labour MSP is united in opposition to a second independence referendum.”