Exclusive:Scotland can be the ‘beating heart of a new Britain’, says Keir Starmer

The Labour leader pledged to ‘fundamentally change’ the relationship between Scotland, England and the Union

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to "fundamentally change" the relationship between Scotland, England and the Union and help make Scotland the “beating heart of a new Britain”, as he sets out his wider pitch to voters north of the border for the first time in today's Scotsman.

The UK Labour leader accused the SNP of a "gargantuan failure" when it comes to providing clean energy jobs and insisted his party's energy strategy will be "based in Scotland, bringing jobs to Scotland, delivering cheaper bills for Scotland".

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He also promised to smash the "class ceiling" that holds working people back.

Sir Keir will visit Rutherglen and Hamilton West today to campaign in the constituency ahead of a key by-election. He will hold an “in conversation” event with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar to discuss what a Labour government would mean for the people of Scotland.

Writing in today’s paper, he admitted the strength of the pro-Union argument had been undermined in recent years by the "chaos of Tory rule", but added: "Mark my words – this all changes with a Labour Government."

Elsewhere, he said a Labour Government “would manage the transition to clean energy responsibly”, reiterating: “We will not rip up existing oil and gas licenses or create new cliff edges.”

Sir Keir said the world was going through a period of change and tough decisions would come “thick and fast”, but there were “clear glimpses” of a new Scotland. “It’s a Scotland that is confident in itself, where devolution is respected and protected, and a Scotland that can also be the beating heart of a new Britain,” he added.

Mhairi Black, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, said Sir Keir “ought to be embarrassed campaigning for a so-called fresh start in Scotland”. She said: “The Labour leader has publicly signed up to a Tory manifesto for the status quo – more Westminster austerity, more economic carnage and more misery for Scottish households.

“During his trip to Scotland, Sir Keir must answer what a fresh start means for Scotland and for Rutherglen and Hamilton West – which has been hammered by Brexit to the tune of £156 million and where almost 1,500 households are affected by the two-child cap.”



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