Jeremy Corbyn has said the economy is “failing people right across Scotland” as he begins a campaign tour across parts of the country.

The Labour leader will join Richard Leonard on a series of stops in Selkirk, Midlothian and North Ayrshire this week in which he will pledge to invest in every community.

He has hit out the Scottish Government as being “too timid” against the powerful, but received criticism of his own for failing to back continued membership of the single market and the customs union.

Loading article content

Mr Corbyn said every part of Scotland is being failed economicallyMr Corbyn said every part of Scotland is being failed economically

My Corbyn said: “Our economy is broken. It is failing people right across Scotland, forcing 260,000 children into poverty, while more and more people in work are unable to make ends meet.

“These problems blight every community in Scotland: from Saltcoats to Selkirk and Stornoway, we urgently need to transform a rigged system.”

He added Conservative policies were helping the richest few and said Scotland needs his party in government in Westminster and Holyrood.

Mr Leonard, the Scottish Labour leader, said “something needs to change” and claimed too much wealth is owned by the “one percent”.

He added: “Poverty doesn’t respect borders. The impact of austerity isn’t confined to the central belt of Scotland and neither will Labour’s response to it be.

“Labour’s plan to protect public services, boost wages and tackle inequality will benefit everyone.

“Communities are being left behind. Only Labour has the plan and the political will to deliver the real change Scotland needs.”

Meanwhile, the SNP have said Mr Corbyn will have to explain to voters why he “refuses” to back continued membership of the single market and the customs union.

It comes after impact analysis papers showed a so-called hard Brexit is set to hit the Scottish economy’s growth by up to 9%.

There is no majority in the House of Commons for a hard Tory Brexit – Jeremy Corbyn has it in his power to stop this disaster, but refuses to do so.

 

Joan McAlpine MSP said: “The leak of Whitehall Brexit analysis means the cat is out of the bag on the crippling cost of leaving the single market and customs union.

“Everybody now agrees it will inflict catastrophic damage on Scotland’s economy, with fewer jobs and lower living standards.

“There is no majority in the House of Commons for a hard Tory Brexit – Jeremy Corbyn has it in his power to stop this disaster, but refuses to do so.

“It is little wonder that Labour cannot pull ahead of the chaotic Tory party in the opinion polls.”

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser MSP added: “Any sensible financial expert would tell you that Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left economic policies would have a disastrous impact on Scotland.

“Labour’s only idea for generating more money for public services is to hammer hard-working Scottish families.

“If we instead concentrated on growing the economy through a competitive tax regime, we could raise far more money to help our schools and hospitals.”