Scottish Labour’s Richard Leonard to make call for federal Britain

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Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard is to call for constitutional reform and the creation of a “federal Britain”.

Mr Leonard will make his case during his Labour conference speech in Liverpool on Monday.

The MSP believes there is a growing restlessness for decisions to be made at a more local level, including local governments and regions of England.

Mr Leonard is to say: “The redistribution of power means something else, constitutional reform.

“Of course, this is not a demand limited to Scotland, there is a restlessness in England for more powers at a local and regional level.

“So let me make it clear from this conference today that a federal Britain, with greater powers for the Scottish Parliament, is the radical solution that I want to see.

“We need new powers to reflect the new realities of Brexit, which is why there is a Labour guarantee that devolved powers returning from the European Union will be transferred to the devolved governments and that we will enter a new era of co-determination in a new era of democratic politics.

“Our task is to reinvigorate politics, it is to build up our movement for democracy and socialism.”

Jeremy Corbyn gives a thumbs-up
Jeremy Corbyn said his party would “decide at the time” whether to hold another independence poll (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

It comes after he revealed his party will include a commitment to opposing a second independence referendum in its next manifesto.

Mr Leonard is to tell delegates that Scotland does not need another vote on independence, but the election of a Labour government.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn previously said he did not support another referendum but would “decide at the time”.

SNP MSP George Adam said: “These are just more empty words from Labour who have promised federalism-max for years yet consistently failed to deliver it in both government and opposition.

“This is the party that worked hand-in-hand with the Tories to block new powers for the Scottish Parliament, including in crucial areas needed to create a fairer and more equal society, like employment and equality law.

“Labour needs to realise that when your actions consistently fail to live up to your promises, people stop believing you.”

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