Labour's new shadow Scottish Secretary Dave Anderson has refused to rule out a possible coalition with the SNP at Westminster.

English MP Mr Anderson said that Labour “may well” have to consider some sort of deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s party to secure the keys to Downing Street.

In the run up to last year's General Election, then Labour leader Ed Miliband told voters he would reject any form of alliance with the SNP.

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The issue was one of the most high-profile in the campaign, with the Conservatives producing attack posters picturing Mr Miliband in the pocket of former First Minister Alex Salmond.

Last week Labour leadership contender Owen Smith also ruled out any deal with the SNP, saying they were not a "proper social democratic party".

But in an interview with The Herald before he begins a two-day visit to Scotland today, Mr Anderson said it was "far too early to be even thinking about (a coalition)... I would hope we don’t ever need one".

However, he added: “If we get further down that line we may well have to consider it.

"But in the meantime, we have a new leader who has (been in charge) for only 10 months."

The MP for Blaydon, near Newcastle, also called on all Labour MPs to back the party's new leader - even if it means he loses his job.

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Mr Anderson was appointed after more than 50 members of Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, including Scotland's only Labour MP Ian Murray, quit in protest at his leadership.

The return of Mr Murray to the frontbench could push out Mr Anderson, he admits.

But he joked that losing the post of shadow Scottish Secretary was "the least of my worries".

“Ian is far too talented a politician not to be on the frontline,” he said.

“If I lose this job to Ian or anybody else that is a decision of the leadership. I will do whatever I am asked to do.”

He is due to visit Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen and meet trade union representative, North Sea oil workers and Scottish Labour MSPs on his first official trip north of the Border.

However, he will not see Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, blaming a diary clash.

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Mr Anderson said that his message to Scottish voters would be that Labour was once again focused on the issues that matter to them.

“People need to know who are there for them again,.”

He said that he did not underestimate the scale of the challenge the party faces in Scotland.

Labour slumped to third place behind the Conservatives in Mat's Holyrood elections, a result that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

The process of rebuilding could take years, he conceded, although "given the current pace of politics, who knows?"

He said he was "not going to pretend I have a magic wand and that people are not disillusioned with politics in general.. the biggest fear I have is that people will stop listening to all of us”.

But, he said his analysis was that "a lot of people turned against us in Scotland because they were generally concerned about the agenda we were pursuing, for some time, which was not the traditional Labour agenda.

"And they saw from the SNP an agenda which they thought was relatively left-wing.

"But I think the truth is now quite clear that it was not.”

He said he was instinctively against the idea of an independent Scottish Labour party, something that has been suggested by the likes of former First Minister Henry McLeish.

“I think that anything that reduces our overall solidarity is something is would be very, very wary of," he said.

"It is a debate we need to have. But I would say that my view is ‘be very, very careful what you wish for’.”

Mr Anderson also disagreed with Mr Corbyn over the issue of a Brexit referendum.

The Labour leader has ruled out holding a second referendum, saying "you have to respect the decision people made.”

The shadow Scottish Secretary said: “I don’t at the moment think we should say yes or no. I think we should have an open mind”.