BRITAIN should become a federal state to help rebuild Scotland, Richard Leonard will argue today.

In his address to the Labour conference, the Scottish party leader will suggest there is a growing “restlessness” for the redistribution of power; for it to be held at a more local level, which would not only include giving greater powers to Holyrood but also to local government and the regions of England.

He is expected to tell delegates: “A federal Britain, with greater powers for the Scottish Parliament, is the radical solution that I want to see.

“We need new powers to reflect the new realities of Brexit, which is why there is a Labour guarantee that devolved powers returning from the European Union will be transferred to the devolved governments and that we will enter a new era of co-determination in a new era of democratic politics.

“Our task is to reinvigorate politics. It is to build up our movement for democracy and socialism.”

A federal Britain is usually seen as Westminster retaining powers over foreign and defence policy as well as UKwide taxes but devolving everything else to parliaments in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

However, Mr Leonard’s argument to give greater powers to Edinburgh under a federal system could be seen at odds with his contention yesterday not to allow a second Scottish independence referendum.

Some could argue that creating a federal UK would mean handing over more constitutional powers to the Scottish Parliament, including the ability to hold a referendum on Scotland’s future.

Mr Leonard’s predecessor Kezia Dugdale backed the creation of a federal UK under a new Act of Union. However, Jeremy Corbyn was regarded as being cool on the idea.

Yet in the Labour Party manifesto for the 2017 General Election the party promised to establish a constitutional convention if it gained power, which would “look at extending democracy locally, regionally and nationally, considering the option of a more federalised country”.

In January, Lesley Laird, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, also distanced herself from the push for federalism, describing it as an “unhelpful” label. She appeared to downplay the prospect that a federal UK would be the final outcome of the planned constitutional convention under a Corbyn premiership.

Asked about federalism, a concept backed by her predecessor as Kirkcaldy MP, Gordon Brown, Ms Laird said: “That labelling is unhelpful because if you say to people, ‘what’s federalism?’ they will think about Germany, for example.

“It’s about what appeals to people and a more simple, straightforward way to think about that is to have powers where they most logically sit, where the best decisions can be taken.”

In his conference speech today Mr Leonard will also make clear the next UK manifesto will include a commitment to oppose a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Scottish Labour leader will tell delegates Scotland does not need another independence referendum; rather, it needs a radical UK Labour government.

However, it is still unclear if a future Labour government, while opposing so-called Indyref2, would agree to facilitate one. Last week, Mr Corbyn said he would “not rule out” approving a second vote on Scotland’s future.

Last year, after Holyrood mandated Nicola Sturgeon to call for another independence referendum, the UK party leader made clear it should not be up to Westminster to go against a democratic vote in the Scottish Parliament.

Responding to Mr Leonard’s declaration that Labour would oppose Indyref2, the First Minister tweeted that Labour’s attempt to “out Tory the Tories on #Indy shows no sign of abating. Which can only be good news for @theSNP”.