Starmer calls for change for Scotland 'in the Union' on visit to Glasgow

Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar on a visit to Stalks and Stems in Glasgow's Southside <i>(Image: Jane Barlow)</i>
Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar on a visit to Stalks and Stems in Glasgow's Southside (Image: Jane Barlow)

KEIR Starmer has said that a UK Government under Labour would bring change for Scotland – but insisted that such change would occur within the Union.

During a visit to the Southside of Glasgow with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar ahead of Small Business Saturday, Starmer said that he recognised Scots do not want the “status quo”.

However, he maintained his stance that change would be best delivered with Scotland as part of the UK.

Speaking at the Italian café Piado in the Shawlands area of Glasgow, he said his party would prioritise tackling issues such as the cost-of-living crisis and rebuilding the economy.

He added: “The case I will take in Scotland is that we should have change in Scotland, but that should be change within the United Kingdom – a positive case for change.

The National: Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar, leader of the Scottish Labour Party with owner Kazena Khan during a visit to the Stalks &amp; Stem store, a small business in Shawlands, Glasgow.
The National: Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar, leader of the Scottish Labour Party with owner Kazena Khan during a visit to the Stalks & Stem store, a small business in Shawlands, Glasgow.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar, leader of the Scottish Labour Party with owner Kazena Khan during a visit to the Stalks & Stem store, a small business in Shawlands, Glasgow. (Image: Jane Barlow)

“An incoming Labour government would clearly have priorities, which I think match where most people are in Scotland, which is dealing with the cost-of-living crisis, dealing with our economy and getting it growing, making sure that we’ve got the right jobs in the right places, and that Scotland can thrive.

“We’re doing well in Scotland. We continue to build our case, but it’s a very positive case for change – I’m not arguing for the status quo in Scotland – change in Scotland within the United Kingdom.”

The Labour leader has previously insisted that Scotland is not “stuck” in the Union, claiming that it is a “voluntary organisation”.

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But he has refused to back a referendum on the issue despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that Scotland cannot legally hold a vote without permission from the UK Government.

Nicola Sturgeon said that the judgment “exposed the myth” that the UK is a “voluntary partnership” and vowed that the next UK General Election would be treated as a de-facto referendum on independence.

It comes as Labour emerged victorious in the first Westminster by-election since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister.