THE Scottish Government’s stance on the crisis in Gaza has been “very helpful”, according to Jeremy Corbyn.

The former Labour leader said the party was being “dragged by the nose slowly into a better position” but warned that Keir Starmer was acting “in lockstep” with America and would not diverge from the White House’s stance.

Asked what his views on the Scottish Government’s response to the crisis – which has included aid payments sent to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency and calling for an immediate ceasefire – Corbyn said: “I think it’s been helpful and very useful and obviously I feel personally very sorry for the chief minister in his family connections in Gaza and what he’s had to go through from that.”

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In an exclusive interview with The National at his London office, Corbyn predicted Labour would be “gradually be forced to change their position” on Gaza by protests and public pressure.

He said: “There’s been some movement, only brought about by the size and continuity of the demonstrations that have taken place all over the country.”

Corbyn said Starmer was "clearly" taking cues from Washington, adding: “What I heard was that from October onwards, the position of Starmer and [shadow foreign secretary David] Lammy was that they would only move when the US moved, they would be in lockstep with the USA, which fits in with the statements that Lammy and others have made having met [US secretary of state Antony] Blinken.

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“I would say it’s a completely wrong course of action, the issue is not condoning what happened on October 7 – they don’t, I don’t, I don’t know anybody who does.

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“But equally, one doesn’t condone the destruction of civilian life in Gaza. They will gradually be forced to change their position and it’s not a very attractive sight to see a political party being sort of dragged by the nose slowly into a better direction.

“It needs some clear statement that what is going on is wrong and a ceasefire is essential.”

And he accused Labour of deploying a “spoiling tactic” over their manoeuvres to undermine the SNP’s ceasefire vote last month.

Corbyn added: “To me it demonstrated how far out of touch parliament is with the community outside.”

He claimed Labour MPs had discussed how they had “put one over the SNP”, adding: “Which in parliamentary gamesmanship, yes they’d done. But outside it just looked terrible.”