MEMBERS of Ian Murray’s local Labour party and a former MSP have attacked his decision to quit as Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary.

A total of 71 Labour members backed Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Alex Rowley's condemnation of Mr Murray.

They include several members of the Edinburgh MP’s own party, councillors, Scottish Young Labour committee members and one-time MSP Lesley Brennan.

In the letter they denounce his resignation a “gift” to the SNP and the Tories.

They express astonishment that he has chosen “this moment to put factional party politics over getting the best outcome for the people of Scotland”.

And they claim that Labour party members are “horrified by [Murray’s] disloyalty”.

On Sunday Mr Rowley said that Mr Murray was putting “self-interest before the needs of the country”.

Earlier this week Mr Murray called on his own leader to “call off the dogs” after protests outside his Edinburgh office.

Scotland's only MP described his resignation as the "hardest political decision" he had ever had to make.

Last night he said: “It was with a very heavy heart that I resigned from the shadow cabinet after nine months of unstinting loyalty to Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

"It has become increasingly clear that Jeremy Corbyn will not be able to win a general election and, as such, has lost the confidence of Labour MPs."

He added: “Labour members are entitled to their views, of course they are, that is what makes us such wonderful political party.

"Over the past few days hundreds of Labour Party members from Scotland and across the UK have contacted me to express support for my actions."

The letter reads: “With the Conservative party in chaos this was the moment for Labour to grasp hold of the political agenda, and to reach out to those who voted for Brexit out of desperation, with a positive vision of an anti-austerity socialist government committed to solving the housing problem, reindustrialising, funding the NHS and supporting trade unions, migrants and the whole working class.

"For these reasons in particular we are horrified by your disloyalty, do not support your decision, and wish you to make clear that you have acted without the support of us as Scottish Labour members.”