JEREMY Corbyn’s spokesman has muddled Labour’s position on indyref2 yet again, saying they would allow the vote, but just not within the first year of government.

The remark is likely to infuriate Scottish Labour boss Richard Leonard, who has struggled over the last year to get his colleagues south of the border on message. He has said the vote shouldn’t happen until there is demonstrable support – though he has failed to define what that support should be.

Speaking after the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the General Election, Corbyn’s spokesman said the next referendum won’t be allowed to happen in the “formative years” of a Labour administration, but refused to rule out granting a Section 30 order beyond 2020.

Earlier in the day, one of the party’s most senior ministers, shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald, added to the confusion, telling the BBC that Labour “won’t stand in the way of a second independence referendum”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Live, Corbyn’s frontbencher was asked if Labour were “ruling out giving permission for a second independence referendum”.

McDonald said: “We are not ruling it out. My dad is Scots, I want Scotland to stay as part of the UK.”

Asked if Labour would therefore offer Scottish voters a second independence referendum, he replied: “I want to get to a situation where we are in a customs union and single market that preserves our ability to trade.

“I hope that would go a long way toward satisfying a lot of people’s concerns, making a second independence referendum unnecessary.

“We won’t stand in the way of a second independence referendum.

“We don’t want it. We want the United Kingdom to sustain and we don’t want a border up the Irish Sea.”

The SNP’s Pete Wishart, who was also appearing on the show, suggested McDonald “have a quiet word with his colleagues in Scottish Labour who are saying exactly the opposite”.

He added: “If Labour are offering a second independence referendum, that is something that is really positive.”

The MP said his party’s condition “for working with anybody” was the granting of a Section 30 order “that allows for a constitutional legal referendum”.

He added: “If Labour is offering that there’ll be no problem, of course, we will be able to work with them because we will achieve their ambition, they will get to govern

this country and everyone will be happy.”

The row came as the parties in Scotland kicked off their General Election campaigns.

Interim Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw, who was in Perth, pounced on McDonald’s remark: “It’s only day one of the General Election campaign and already Labour is selling out the people of Scotland.

“These aren’t ambiguous remarks – they are confirmation from a senior Labour MP that they will give the green light to Nicola Sturgeon’s latest attempts to break-up Britain.”

The National: Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for Section 30 by the end of this yearNicola Sturgeon is pushing for Section 30 by the end of this year

LibDem Alex Cole-Hamilton agreed, saying Labour were “completely confused on Brexit and independence”.

Asked about McDonald’s comments, Leonard, who was out launching his party’s campaign in Leith, insisted he was in charge: “The battle over independence in Scotland will be won or lost in Scotland and I’m the leader of the Scottish Labour Party and I will be taking that battle to those people who think that there is some shortcut to improvement to Scottish public services, to the communities of Scotland through independence.”

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon insisted the result of the December 12 poll will determine the country’s future.

The First Minister was launching her party’s campaign in Stirling where Scottish Tory MP Stephen Kerr is defending a majority of 148.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith is hoping to take it off him.

Sturgeon said the election was the most important “Scotland has had for decades”.

She said: “No matter how you voted on Brexit, it’s a mess and the only way to end the mess is to stop Brexit. Secondly, a vote for the SNP is a vote to put Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands and demand the right to choose our future”.