SCOTTISH Labour must not be dragged to the left following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as UK party leader, Alistair Darling has warned.

The former Chancellor, who steered the cross-party Better Together campaign to victory in last year's independence referendum, said he could not see a "silver lining" to left-winger Mr Corbyn's triumph.

In an interview with The Herald, he urged Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to remain rooted in the political centre ground, saying it would pay a "heavy price" if it attempted to challenged the SNP from a platform far to the left of Nicola Sturgeon's SNP.

Mr Darling compared London MP Mr Corbyn's victory with the rise in support for independence in Scotland, the emergence of left-wing parties Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece, and the success of the far right National Front in France.

He said people across Europe were "fed up" and wanted change, adding: "It is exactly the same sentiments within the Labour Party, and clearly among the people who signed up as supporters.

"They wanted a change."

His comments came as Mr Corbyn told Labour MPs that next year's Holyrood elections were one of his key priorities as leader.

He will spend a day a month campaigning north of the b

Border between now and next May, he announced.

Sources also suggested that after his first clash with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions tomorrow he would travel to Scotland for talks with Ms Dugdale on how to revive the party’s fortunes.

Today (TUES) he will set out more of his vision for the party when he addresses the TUC conference in Brighton, where he is expected to receive a hero's welcome.

Mr Darling said: "I'm still at a loss over what (Mr Corbyn) is going to do. I know what he's against but I'm not quite sure what he's for.

"People were not inspired by the other three candidates and Corbyn was different.

"He's not new but he is different.

"I'll wait to see what he comes up with. I do believe most clouds have a silver lining but don't actually see the silver lining at the moment."

In a warning to Scottish Labour, he said: "The Nationalists are quintessentially New Labour in their approach.

"They are parked in the centre ground. They will not be putting up taxes in a hurry.

"That's why it would be a huge mistake for the Labour Party to think it should be pitching off to the left.

"If you vacate the centre ground to the Nationalists, you will pay a heavy price.

"You cannot win an election in Scotland or the UK unless you take the majority of people with you, which means you do need to take the middle ground with you as well."

Mr Darling said Scottish Labour's poor showing in the polls was "recoverable" and insisted people warmed to the party's new leader, Kezia Dugdale.

Asked what impact Mr Corbyn's victory might have on her leadership, he added: "I'm not sure there will be much difference.

"The recovery of Scottish Labour has to come from Holyrood."

Mr Darling's comments are at odds with Mr Corbyn's supporters in Scotland, who see the MP's leadership as a chance to end the "red Tory" tag directed at Labour by the SNP.

The SNP seized on Mr Corbyn's plans to campaign in Scotland, claiming the announcement echoed the complaints of former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil said: "It's clear that Scottish Labour is a 'branch office' again and Kezia Dugdale will be campaigning from the sidelines."

Scotland's sole Labour MP Ian Murray, who remains as shadow Scottish secretary in the new shadow cabinet, hit back: "Kezia Dugdale is leader of the Labour Party in Scotland and she will make decisions about the future of the Scottish Labour Party. People in Scotland want to hear from our new UK leadership and their ambitious plans for the future."

Meanwhile. Mr Corbyn also announced more details of his hastily put together frontbench team.

There were were a number of unexpected moves, including the announcement of Maria Eagle as shadow defence secretary.

There was also controversy amid allegations Mr Corbyn had 'made up' a number of new positions to mollify those who protested that he had ignored women for many of the top jobs.

Mr Corbyn's team hit back that the idea there were four major positions, including shadow chancellor and shadow foreign secretary, was outdated.

Ahead of today's speech Mr Corbyn has been urged to get “stuck in” to fighting the UK Government by TUC chief Frances O’Grady.

However, she also warned the new Labour leader that a political party had to be a “good deal more than a fan club”.

Leading Labour and making it fit for power again was a "tough job", she told delegates.

"Labour's purpose is clear - to deliver wealth and opportunity to the many and not the few, but that means winning a general election to deliver it."

In Brighton yesterday there was a growing air of expectation ahead of Mr Corbyn’s keynote address.

One delegate said: “It hasn’t so much been a three-day conference but a three-day post-victory party. He’s going to get a rapturous welcome but it will just add to the pressure on him to deliver.”

Mr Corbyn has left the door open for Labour to campaign to leave the European Union as he addressed the party's MPs and peers for the first time as leader.

Labour "can't just give (David) Cameron a blank cheque" and any changes the PM secures "must be the right ones", he said.

In total, 16 posts in Mr Corbyn's senior team have gone to women, with 15 filled by men.

By contrast, there are 30 Government ministers who are either members of or attend Cabinet. Ten are women.

Journalists who were waiting outside the parliamentary offices where the appointments were being made on Sunday night overheard an aide to Mr Corbyn complaining that they were "taking a fair amount of s*** out there about women".

Soon afterwards Angela Eagle had the title of shadow first secretary of state added to her role as shadow business secretary.