SCOTTISH Labour’s Michael Shanks has been accused of “flip-flopping” over Brexit after deleting a tweet from almost a decade ago.

The party’s Rutherglen and Hamilton West candidate posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in 2014 that anyone who resigned from a local party position over Europe was “fibbing”.

The post was in relation to a BBC Question Time episode filmed in Nottingham in March of that year, featuring Labour grandee, and General Election candidate for East Lothian, Douglas Alexander, and two years before the Brexit referendum. 

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Shanks previously resigned from Labour in 2019 over its stance on Brexit.

Following his candidacy for the Westminster seat, with the ballot now due to be held in October, Shanks said that rejoining the EU is “not a question for now”.

The by-election candidate said he wasn’t “against” rejoining the EU and insisted he hadn’t changed his principles over Brexit, but said it was not the right time for a debate on the issue.

The SNP said that Shanks is “all over the place” on Brexit in a bid to appease his Westminster bosses.

The National:

Labour leader Keir Starmer has embraced Brexit and ruled out any return to the EU, single market or freedom of movement.

In the now-deleted tweet (above), Shanks wrote: “Anyone who resigns a local party position over Europe is either (a) fibbing or (b) fibbing. #bbcqt.”

The tweet was available to view on Friday, but was deleted over the weekend and unavailable on the website by Tuesday.

It comes after the SNP moved the writ to allow the by-election in South Lanarkshire to go ahead, setting the polling date for October 5.

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In a lengthy blog post in 2019, Shanks resigned from Labour stating the party had a “bankrupt” approach to membership of the EU and the “impact it will have on the poorest people across the UK”.

Shanks quit Labour on the day of the European elections that year when Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the party, adding that there was “woefully inadequate” tackling of antisemitism.

He also revealed in the blog post that he could not vote for Labour and therefore would be leaving the party.

The National: From left: Labour's Anas Sarwar, leader Keir Starmer, and Michael Shanks

Shanks later said he was “happy to rejoin when Keir Starmer took clear action to root out antisemitism and I’ve been proud to campaign for Labour ever since”.

Clare Haughey, SNP MSP for Rutherglen, said: “Sarwar’s man in Rutherglen continues to be all over the place on Europe, having flip-flopped multiple times on Brexit to appease his Westminster bosses.

"Brexit has been a disaster for Scotland - costing us billions, reducing trade, causing staffing shortages across the NHS and businesses, and making us all poorer.

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“The SNP candidate Katy Loudon has been clear: Vote for her to send a clear message to the pro-Brexit, pro-austerity Labour Party that what they are offering is not good enough.

“Voting SNP in Rutherglen and Hamilton West is the only way to truly reject Tory and Labour policies, which are now one and the same.”

Scottish Labour have been contacted for comment.