Nicola Sturgeon has challenged Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard to clarify his “feeble” position on Brexit.
The First Minister and SNP leader said the party’s stance on leaving the European Union (EU) was “bizarre and inexcusable”, adding they were doing “literally nothing” to challenge the Tories on the issue.
Since taking over as leader, Mr Leonard has aligned with UK leader Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit, pledging to respect the result of the EU referendum but warning that permanent membership of the single market without being a member of the EU would leave the UK having to take its rules with no say.
Ms Sturgeon, who backs remaining in the single market, told the Sunday Herald: “Scottish Labour’s position – in line with that of their London bosses – is utterly bizarre and inexcusable.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard with UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (John Linton/PA)
“They are effectively backing the Tories’ extreme Brexit plans, which threaten many thousands of Scottish jobs and risk doing huge damage to our economy and society.
“Labour have already taken a hit in the polls as people realise they are doing literally nothing to fight the Tories’ chaotic Brexit plans.
“That trend is only likely to grow as more and more people across Scotland, including Labour supporters who oppose Brexit, see just how feeble the party is on the biggest single issue facing the country.”
A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: “This is typical posturing from Nicola Sturgeon, which is as much about opportunistically pursuing her own constitutional obsession and using Brexit as the means to achieve that.
“In the meantime, Labour will get on with fighting the shambolic Tories’ bargain basement Brexit at every opportunity.
“The reality is that only the next Labour government will deliver the investment our stagnating economy is crying out for and a jobs-first Brexit that retains the benefits of the single market and protects our economy.”