BLAIRITES are “well and truly back in charge” of Labour, Mhairi Black has said, after Tony Blair praised Keir Starmer for “rescuing” the party.

Black insisted Starmer should be “mortified” to receive endorsement from the ex-prime minister but had been seeking it from “day one of his leadership”.

Blair told the Financial Times that Starmer had saved Labour “from the brink of extinction” after Jeremy Corbyn, adding that he had shown “agility and determination” in remodelling the party.

He also mocked those who have been suggesting Starmer is a Blairite.

Black (below) said: “This is an endorsement Keir Starmer should be mortified to receive, but the truth is it’s one he’s sought from day one of his leadership. 

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"Blair, whose legacy is that of the Iraq war and a shift to the right, is not someone whose endorsement should be chased or happily received.

“If it wasn’t already apparent from their staunch support of austerity and Tory-replica policies, it’s clear the Blairites are well and truly back in charge of the Labour Party.

The National:

“Scotland shouldn’t be made to choose between two parties intent on imposing a brutal Brexit and austerity agenda on ordinary people, nor between two parties who could barely fit a fag paper between them.

“Thankfully there is an alternative to prevailing right-wing Blairism and Tory attitudes that dominate Westminster, with a clean break with the full powers of independence.”

Now running the Blair Institute, the former Sedgefield MP said critics who have said Labour’s offering is too bland were talking “nonsense” and that Labour had to hold to the centre ground and stop “equating being radical with just taxing and spending”.

He added: “One of things I admire about Keir is that he doesn’t care if people say I’m behind the scenes or not behind the scenes. If we’ve got something to offer, he’ll take it. If it’s not, he won’t. I like that.”