UK Labour has been accused of treating the Scottish party as a "branch office" - again - after advertising for staff in Scotland before a new leader is in place north of the border.

The party in London is pushing ahead with recruiting new employees, despite several Scottish Labour sources saying that their new leader should determine the staffing structure in Scotland.

Scottish Labour elects its own leader and is in charge of devolved policy-making but has been dogged by claims it is run by the parent party in London.

Staff north of the border are paid by UK Labour and resources are transferred to the office in Glasgow.

Johann Lamont famously quit as leader after the party in London removed her general secretary, a decision she said was symbolic of Scottish Labour being treated as a "branch office".

Contenders for the vacant leadership - Kezia Dugdale and Ken Macintosh - have said they support greater autonomy for the party.

However, while a new leader will only be in post in August, the UK party is already trying to employ new staff north of the border.

A new permanent post of Head of Campaigns and Organisation has been advertised at £37,955 a year, plus a fixed sum allowance of £2,287.

The successful applicant will report to the Scottish Labour general secretary, but the blurb on the website states it is the UK party that is recruiting for the post.

Interviews are to take place in the week commencing June 29 - weeks before the new leader is announced.

Similarly, three Scottish organisers are being hired on a salary of £33,337 a year, again recruited by UK Labour.

A local government officer is also being recruited, but the advert states Scottish Labour is in the lead for this post.

Applicants for all the jobs are advised to send an application form to a UK party email address.

One party insider said: "The new leader should decide what staff we need, and who should fill those posts, not London."

Speaking to the BBC last week, Lamont said: "I was put in the position where although I was in felt it was possible, at a London level, to make a decision about the staffing, the critical staff at the campaign headquarters in the Scottish party.

"I wasn't consulted on that, and it just seemed to me that captured the fact that actually that while we understood politically the need to have a Scottish Labour leader, culturally we hadn't made that move."

SNP MSP Mark McDonald said: "Scottish Labour's problems run deep - not least that their 'branch office' status is embedded in the party structure - therefore it will take more than a change of leader to solve them. But the longer Labour at Westminster is pulling the strings, the harder it will be for Labour in Scotland to even begin to address their issues."

A spokesperson for Scottish Labour said: "Both the UK Labour party and Scottish Labour are advertising for vacancies at this time, and we encourage applications from anyone who wants to make Scotland and the UK a fairer place to live and work in."