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Clive Lewis call for second Scottish independence referendum prompts Labour row

Labour leadership hopeful Clive Lewis has revealed he would back a second referendum on Scottish independence.

The Norwich South MP said that Scotland should not be “dictated to” by MPs from constituencies from England.

He also declared a plan to give Scottish Labour “full autonomy from the English”, saying they should be “free to decide their views on fundamental questions like support for independence.”

He added that Scotland felt “shackled to a dysfunctional political system”.

The statement is in direct contrast to leadership rival Jess Phillips’ stance, who told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that she “couldn’t see a circumstance where it would be better for Scotland to leave the UK.”

She was under fire for describing Scotland as “up there” during her interview, saying she thought politicians “should be talking about things that are relevant to the lives of people in Scotland.”


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Ms Phillips stood by her comments today, tweeting “I care as much about kids in Glasgow as I do my own kids in Birmingham.

"We should be talking about things that actually matter to them: the SNP ’s education crisis & rising waiting times.

“There are no circumstances where I think it would be better for Scotland to leave the UK.”

Mr Lewis, a former infantry officer, warned in March 2017 that MPs “must be on their guard” about the impact the Brexit vote would have in Scotland. Every council in Scotland had a Remain majority, opposed to the 51% Leave result across the UK.

During the election Mr Corbyn said he would refuse to hold an independence referendum in 2020, despite SNP demands. But he left open the possibility of a potential vote in 2021 to coincide with Scottish elections.

In 2014, the ‘Better Together’ campaign won by 55%, but the SNP- which now holds 47 seats – campaigned for IndyRef2 as part of their manifesto.

The only remaining Scottish Labour MP, Ian Murray, is running for deputy leadership of the party.

Seen as an outside candidate, the MP for Edinburgh South has called for “clarity” on Labour’s stance on the issue.

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