A referendum day row broke out after the official Leave campaign suggested that Scotland is not a "heartland" of the UK.

An email, sent out in a bid to encourage Brexit supporters to tell their friends to vote, claimed that early reports suggested turnout was high north of the border as well as in London.

It described the UK capital and Scotland as "the two areas of the country most against us" and warned of a "very real chance" that Remain could emerge victorious as a result of votes cast there.

It added that this could mean the result went against the Brexit camp "despite the heartlands of the voting to Leave" and pleaded for "help to stop this from happening."

The email, signed by Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott, stated: "If you don't want people in London to force you and your family to stay in the EU please email and call all your friends and make sure they Vote Leave today!"

The claim that Scotland and London were not "heartlands" sparked anger after the email was widely shared on social media.

Alastair Campbell, the former Labour spin doctor, wrote on Twitter: "See Vote Leave email then email friends in North and Scotland to say 'whichever way you vote, we are all part of UK."

John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, described the email as "panicky" while Kevin Pringle, the ex-SNP communications chief who has been working for the Scotland Stronger In Europe campaign, added: "So here we have it from official Vote Leave: Scotland (and London) are not "heartlands of the country"!