Scottish Labour’s Richard Leonard to make call for federal Britain

Richard Leonard will also outline his party’s opposition to a second independence referendum (John Linton/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard is to call for constitutional reform and the creation of a “federal Britain”.

Mr Leonard will make his case during his Labour conference speech in Liverpool on Monday.

The MSP believes there is a growing restlessness for decisions to be made at a more local level, including local governments and regions of England.

Mr Leonard is to say: “The redistribution of power means something else, constitutional reform.

“Of course, this is not a demand limited to Scotland, there is a restlessness in England for more powers at a local and regional level.

“So let me make it clear from this conference today that a federal Britain, with greater powers for the Scottish Parliament, is the radical solution that I want to see.

“We need new powers to reflect the new realities of Brexit, which is why there is a Labour guarantee that devolved powers returning from the European Union will be transferred to the devolved governments and that we will enter a new era of co-determination in a new era of democratic politics.

“Our task is to reinvigorate politics, it is to build up our movement for democracy and socialism.”

It comes after he revealed his party will include a commitment to opposing a second independence referendum in its next manifesto.

Mr Leonard is to tell delegates that Scotland does not need another vote on independence, but the election of a Labour government.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn previously said he did not support another referendum but would “decide at the time”.

SNP MSP George Adam said: “These are just more empty words from Labour who have promised federalism-max for years yet consistently failed to deliver it in both government and opposition.

“This is the party that worked hand-in-hand with the Tories to block new powers for the Scottish Parliament, including in crucial areas needed to create a fairer and more equal society, like employment and equality law.

“Labour needs to realise that when your actions consistently fail to live up to your promises, people stop believing you.”