IAN Murray has claimed a Labour victory in the next General Election would override any “ridiculous” claim that Nicola Sturgeon has a mandate for indyref2.

The First Minister has previously said the SNP will have a mandate for another independence referenum if they win a majority in the 2021 Holyrood elections.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald, Murray said "the higher number of seats the SNP get in Scotland, the more of a threat that is in England".

The Shadow Scottish Secretary said Labour in 2024 would need its biggest ever landslide to get Keir Starmer in Downing Street.

He said: "Scotland is critically important because until you start winning seats back in Scotland you can’t win.” 

He pointed out that if Labour again returned only a single Scottish MP in 2024, it would need a record 13 per cent swing to gain the necessary 124 extra seats. Labour’s biggest win to date under Tony Blair in 1997 saw a 10% swing.

Murray noted how if Labour gained as many as 16 Scottish seats, quite a jump from its 2019 starting point, it would still require a record victory with a swing between 10 and 11%.

Asked if, therefore, a double-digit number of Scottish seats was vital for the party to stand any chance of regaining power, the Labour frontbencher did not hesitate in his reply: “Yes, for two reasons,

“One is the SNP win our seats in Scotland and, therefore, we need to win Scottish seats for the mathematics of it.

“But the higher number of seats the SNP get in Scotland, the more of a threat that is in England, which damages our chances south of the Border as well, which was so ably exploited by Sturgeon and Salmond in 2015,” said the Edinburgh South MP.

READ MORE: FACT CHECK: Does the SNP have a cast-iron mandate to hold indyref2?

Murray stressed his party had always been pro-Union but claimed Jeremy Corbyn’s “confused message” on whether a future Labour Government would allow a second referendum had seriously hampered the party’s fortunes in Scotland.

In a campaign visit to Scotland last year, Corbyn told journalists there would be “no referendum in the first term for a Labour Government”.

READ MORE: More confusion over Jeremy Corbyn's position on independence

When asked about what a Labour Government under Sir Keir would do faced with demands for indyref2, questioned what was meant by an SNP mandate, votes or seats, and stressed how the party leadership had to lay out its prospectus for a “devolution revolution” to defeat the “extreme proposition” set out by the SNP.

“We would be going into the 2024 election with no to independence, no to a second independence referendum, and, hopefully, a fully constituted and concluded constitutional convention for a radical federalism," he said.

“By that hypothetical, Keir Starmer would take the Labour manifesto into government and then rip up everything he has talked about on radical federalism to give somebody a referendum he disagrees with on the basis of a mandate that could be less than 50%."

He added: “You can’t say one half of the equation has a mandate and not the other. The mandate for Keir Starmer, if he becomes PM in 2024, would be to deliver on the manifesto commitment of the radical federalism that he wants to try and achieve."