ACTOR Brian Cox has insisted the dial on Scottish independence “must be kept up” after revealing his concerns about the drive for self-determination going forward.

In a conversation with Alastair Campbell on his Rest Is Politics Leading podcast, the Succession star said he was worried about the future of the Yes movement after support had grown for self-determination under former first minsters Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

Cox – who used to be a Labour supporter before the Iraq war – said there were problems such as child poverty that needed to be resolved but remained insistent Scotland “has to be free”.

He also laid out his disdain for the UK Government and the Barnett Formula to the former Labour spin doctor, stressing he did not want to be “holding out my plate for a few crumbs that come my way”.

Campbell asked Cox, 76, if he was worried Salmond and Sturgeon had moved the dial on independence, but now “it has gone backwards”.

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Cox said in response: “Yes, that’s what I’m worried about, and I think we’ve got to keep it up [the dial]. We really have to.

“There’s a lot of problems with child poverty and childcare and all of that they [the Scottish Government] are tending to, and they need to tend to what the people’s needs are, but we do need to be free, and I still think so, particularly now.

“This last [UK] Government – and it’s ironic because they used to say in the 60s about 13 years of Tory misrule – and now we’ve had well, misrule would be a flattery. I think we’ve just had the most awful thing, and the awful set of values too.”

Campbell then suggested if the SNP continued to rule in a non-independent Scotland, that would minimise the chances of Labour “getting rid” of the Tories.

When asked if there was anything Labour could do to win back his support, Cox said: “Well no.

“Keir Starmer has said he’s against Scottish independence, and I’m for independence. It’s not an easy road because the SNP is a very broad church.

“That’s why I believe in a United Federation, I don’t believe in a United Kingdom because it isn’t a United Kingdom and it never has been a United Kingdom. That’s the hypocrisy of it.

“We’ve always had to depend on handouts and we’re told ‘oh you do very well on the Barnett Formula, why do you complain?’. Well, I don’t want to be there holding my plate out for a few crumbs that come my way. I want to be ourselves.”

Cox – who is currently in the spotlight following the release of the final season of Succession – recently said independence was the way forward for all nations of the UK and even suggested during his chat with Campbell that England should be split in half and London should be a separate state.

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After expressing his frustration with Labour’s opposition to independence, he went on to say he would like to see them make a comeback in a “free Scotland”.

He said: “Once we have an independent Scotland, there will be a Labour party, there will be a Conservative party. There will be all of those elements. The Labour party started in Scotland.

“I’d love to see Labour come back in a free Scotland. At the moment, if they’re not prepared to give themselves to a free Scotland, and Keir doesn’t want to, he’s not interested, then that will always provide a conflict.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Cox said he felt the SNP should take “National” out of the party name and replace it with “Independent” as he felt the current title “narrows everything”.

He also commented on the abuse Sturgeon had endured while she was first minister, saying he wasn’t shocked she felt she needed to step back.

Asked whether he felt surprised she resigned, he said: “I think the gender issue [the Gender Recognition Reform Bill] was a f*** up. It needed tending to and I admire them [the Scottish Government] for tending to it, but there needed to be more consideration and thought to that very tricky subject. I believe in this subject, but I just felt they didn’t handle it.

“Nicola was really under siege. People used to say the most awful things about her. The abuse she got was unbelievable and completely unwarranted. She’s a good woman, so I could understand why she wanted to get out.

“When the Supreme Court stopped us from going for a second referendum, I think that was such a knock in the face in a way and I think she struggled on a bit but she maybe felt it needed a new energy to take it on to the next stage.”