Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said it is "absolutely fine" to have a second Scottish referendum on independence and declared it is not Westminster's place to stand in the way of holding one.
Mr Corbyn said he did not think the Government should seek to block another vote for independence if Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wished to follow through on her pledge for a fresh ballot after Scots voted to remain in the European Union.
His comments come amid speculation that Ms Sturgeon is about to demand a Section 30 order from Westminster, allowing a legally binding vote on Scotland's place in the UK to be held.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has made clear her opposition to another ballot on the issue being held, with Scots having voted to stay in the UK by 55% to 45% in September 2014.
But Mr Corbyn said: "If a referendum is held then it is absolutely fine, it should be held.
"I don't think it's the job of Westminster or the Labour Party to prevent people holding referendum."
A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy reaffirmed our position today that if the Scottish Parliament votes for a referendum, it would be wrong for Westminster to block it.
"Labour continues to oppose a further referendum in the Scottish Parliament and would campaign against independence if one were held."
His backing of a second referendum sparked anger from MPs.
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, said: "This is a misguided and irresponsible comment from Jeremy Corbyn that is an insult to the dedicated work of Scottish Labour MSPs, councillors, and thousands of activists who have campaigned against a divisive second referendum."