JEREMY Corbyn has denied claims he told an SNP MP he backed Scottish independence during a private conversation.

Mhairi Black insisted the UK Labour leader had "sold his soul" over the issue – and said she knew he supported the break up of the UK "from talking to him".

But Mr Corbyn rubbished the claims as he addressed party supporters in Glasgow.

Asked about the comments by The Herald, he said: "I have never supported Scottish independence. What I want is to lead a UK Labour Government. I want to see a Labour Government in Scotland.

"I'm a socialist who wants to improve living standards and reduce inequalities across this country, and I invite everyone who wants to live in a society that's more democratic, more open and values everybody - rather than giving free market capitalism the altar that it has at the present, under this current Tory Government – to join Labour in our determination to create a society that really does work for the many, not the few. That's what the Labour Party is about."

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Mr Corbyn also threw his weight behind claims the UK Government's flagship EU Withdrawal Bill represents a "power grab".

The Herald:

(Picture credit: Colin Mearns)

He backed Scottish Labour's decision to reject Clause 11 of the legislation, which deals with the return of devolved powers from Brussels after Brexit.

The Labour-run Welsh Government has struck a deal with UK ministers over the issue, and insist the section no longer represents a threat to devolution.

But Mr Corbyn said he supported Scottish Labour's stance, adding: "We are a party of devolution. Therefore, devolution sometimes throws up interesting answers."

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His comments came after a speech in Govan in which Mr Corbyn called on navy shipbuilding contracts to stay on the UK.