JEREMY Corbyn has reached out to supporters of Scottish independence saying he understands their anger with Westminster.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald, during his first visit to Scotland since his overwhelming re-election as Labour leader, Corbyn said he believed many anti-Tory and working class Scots who support independence were motivated by a “sense of anger at the way their communities have been treated” at the hands of successive UK governments over decades.

When asked whether he viewed voters who support independence, because of their distrust and anger at the Westminster establishment, as part of a broad progressive movement, Corbyn said "absolutely".

Last night, Chris Stephens, the SNP trade union and workers' rights spokesman at Westminster, said the dramatic intervention raised fresh questions about whether Corbyn would be "amenable to a progressive alliance" between the SNP and Labour to oust the Tories - something Corbyn has previously publicly ruled out.

Meanwhile, the Labour leader claimed that working class voters who supported Yes in 2014 in areas such as Glasgow, where the majority of the electorate backed independence, had been alienated from Westminster by austerity and devastating job losses in industries such as mining and steel.

He said: "They've were driven away by disillusionment, deindustrialisation, a lack of investment and of a sense of anger at the way their communities have been treated. What we're saying is that no-one in Britain should be left behind and that no community should be left behind."

Corbyn's comments come ahead of a charm offensive he is planning in Scotland in a bid to recapture some of the 40 Westminster seats Labour lost when the party was routed by the SNP at the 2015 General Election.

In an bid to woo Scots who see support for independence as a chance to break with a Tory dominated Westminster, Corbyn said: "Of course I understand the issue of identity”.

Corbyn reached out to independence supporters during a flying visit to Glasgow, where he delivered a lecture in memory of the legendary Clydeside trade union leader, the late Jimmy Reid.

Corbyn said that many independence supporters were motivated by the same issues as he was - such as workers’ rights, affordable housing and opposition to the blacklisting of trade union activists.

Corbyn cited Reid, who came to prominence as a leader of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders 'work-in' during the early 1970s that forced Ted Heath's Tory government to abandon closure plans for the shipyard.

Govan-born trade unionist Reid, a one-time former Communist party stalwart, eventually came out for Scottish independence and switched his allegiance from Labour to the SNP in the 2000s.

Corbyn, when asked whether he viewed independence supporters as part of a reforming and progressive movement, said: "Absolutely I do. I absolutely do and I want to reach out to everyone and that was the whole message of my lecture tonight.

"The whole message of my lecture was how Jimmy Reid reached out to people in his life as a committed Socialist. He was in various parties the Communist Party and the Labour Party. I think we can learn from great Scottish men like Jimmy Reid and what he did.

"My lecture tonight was about the optimism he brought to the Clyde at that time and that legacy is the Scottish shipyard."

Citing the reasons why he viewed independence supporters as part of a progressive movement for change, he talked about their "support for progressive policies of investment in housing, better employment rights, and an end to blacklisting workers who stood up and represented others in the trade unions”.

Corbyn, however, restated his opposition to independence, but said he hoped left-leaning supporters of the Yes campaign would be tempted to back Labour following the party’s UK leadership campaign that saw him re-elected by a greater margin than a year go.

He said: "I hope that they recognise that in the Labour Party we have had this enormous debate, with 600,000 people involved across the whole of the UK. It’s been a fascinating experience and brought a lot of people together, as well as young people who have never been involved in politics before.

"In Scotland as well as all parts of the UK, people who were involved in various kinds of progressive trade unions and politics in the past have come back.”

The Labour leader and his closest ally John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, are planning to hold a Scottish summit in the coming months focussing on a Corbyn-led government's specific economic and jobs policy for Scotland.

Corbyn made his overtures to independence supporters as he highlighted a plan to launch a Scottish investment bank aimed at creating full employment that would be devolved to Holyrood.

He said: "There has to be an investment-led economy and there has to be full employment for all. And you have to have a Scottish investment bank as part of it, so it will be with a very big investment in the Scottish economy."

The Labour leader said the policy was targeted at independence supporters in working class communities, which have been hurt by mass unemployment and their communities starved of investment.

Corbyn said the investment bank would be a flagship policy of a Labour government led by him and would tackle inequality and social deprivation in areas such as Glasgow.

He added: "I strongly supported devolution, strongly supported a powerful Scottish Parliament and a powerful Scottish Government.

"And obviously the investment we would put in would then be delivered in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament and a Scottish Government.

"It would not be ringfenced. The investment would go in. It would be up to the Scottish Government to decide how to spend it."

Corbyn also said that he “understood the frustration” of Scots who back independence because of the prospect of being dragged out of the EU against their will after Scotland vote 62-38 in the June referendum.

However, Corbyn said the same issue applied to parts of London such as his Islington North constituency, where like Scotland a majority of people voted to Remain.

Corbyn said: "I understand the frustration - my own constituency voted 70 per cent or thereabouts for Remain.”

The UK Labour leader also turned his fire on the Tory party after the Conservative conference was dominated by talk of targeting immigrant workers.

"We have to reach out to get the deal which is protecting the rights of workers," he said. "The xenophobic message from the Tories this week isn't going to cut any mustard with anyone.”

Meanwhile, in response to Corbyn's comment, Chris Stephens, the SNP MP for Glasgow South West, said: "Whilst Jeremy Corbyn has recognised the concerns of Yes supporters we find ourselves in a position where we face being dragged out of the EU against our will with potentially devastating consequences.

"There is a the very real prospect of continued austerity and even further attacks on workers' rights from a right-wing Tory government.

"But the questions remains if there were to be an opportunity to stop a Tory government remaining in power, would Mr Corbyn be amenable to a progressive alliance to create such an outcome?"