Jeremy Corbyn: Labour could grant second independence referendum

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Jeremy Corbyn has refused to rule out granting permission for a second Scottish independence referendum if he became Prime Minister.

The Labour leader said he would "decide at the time" whether to allow a new independence vote to take place if a request was made by the Scottish Government.

Mr Corbyn said he is against a second referendum, and was "very clear on why we don't think it's a good idea".

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn believes Unionism is "divisive", spokesman says
Before the last Holyrood election, Labour gave a "cast iron guarantee" that it would oppose a second referendum, but still lost ground to the Conservatives.

Mr Corbyn was asked by the BBC what he would do if Nicola Sturgeon asked for the power to hold another vote on independence under Section 30 of the Scotland Act.

"We would obviously decide at the time,” he replied, adding that he believed the economic case was against Scotland leaving the UK.

"I'm not ruling out - I'm just pointing out the reality,” Mr Corbyn said.

"We don't want another referendum, we don't think another referendum is a good idea, and we'll be very clear on why we don't think it's a good idea.

"We think what's more important is dealing with child poverty, housing problems and lack of investment in Scotland - 200,000 more children going into poverty has to be dealt with. A referendum will not solve that."

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Adam Tomkins MSP, the Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman said: “Every time Jeremy Corbyn talks about Scotland he gives yet another concession to the SNP.

“It’s more proof that Labour are utterly weak when it comes to Scotland’s place in the UK.

“Jeremy Corbyn does not care about Scotland, and has no interest in standing up to the nationalists, as this latest gaffe proves.”