A LABOUR Government would continue the Tory policy of blocking a second independence referendum regardless of the Scottish Parliament’s wishes, Richard Leonard has said.

The Scottish Labour leader confirmed that if his party won power at Westminster it would refuse to grant a ‘Section 30 order’ giving Holyrood the power to hold another vote.

MSPs voted 69-59 two years ago for a Section 30 order, but Theresa May has refused to grant one, saying now is not the time to revisit the 2014 result.

Asked on BBC Sunday Politics Scotland whether a UK Labour government would take the same hardline, Mr Leonard said: “What we said in the manifesto at the 2017 election was that there is no case for, and we would not support, a second independence referendum.”

Pressed on Labour ruling out a Section 30 order and blocking a new vote, he said: “We will not agree to a second independence referendum. There’s no appetite for it.

“A Labour government... would not agree to a second independence referendum emerging from either the Scottish Parliament or from any other quarters. There is no case for a second independence referendum.”

Asked if that could be undemocratic given the SNP might win the 2021 Holyrood election on a platform of having another vote, Mr Leonard said he wanted Labour to win it.

Nicola Sturgeon has promised an update on the timing of another vote “in a matter of weeks”, and last week said she would consider working with a minority UK Labour government.

Mr Leonard was also asked about searing criticism of his leadership from the head of his own union.

GMB Scotland chief Gary Smith told the Herald on Sunday that Mr Leonard merely followed Jeremy Corby, and had “nothing coherent” to say about Brexit, summing up the situation as “a recipe for failure”.

Mr Leonard said: “Gary is someone I’ve known for a long time. There’s always been dissent in the Labour party and he’s reflecting a voice of dissent. But I don’t agree with his analysis.”

In a bruising interview with broadcaster Gordon Brewer, Mr Leonard was also asked why he didn’t show more leadership on anti-Semitism and throw offenders out of the party.

He was grilled on why former MP and current Renfrewshire councillor Jim Sheridan was recently readmitted after a six-month suspension for ranting about Jews on Facebook.

Mr Sheridan said he had lost respect and empathy for the entire Jewish community and their “historic suffering”, because of “what they and Blairitie plotters” were doing to the party.

Mr Leonard said: “What Jim Sheridan said was unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated and he’s been reprimanded as a result of that. But I don’t personally get involved in the disciplinary process of the Labour party. People are elected by party members to conduct those investigations and to sit on those hearings, and they make decisions.”

An SNP spokesperson: “This was a catastrophic interview which confirms that, with Richard Leonard at the helm, Scottish Labour are sailing further into political irrelevance.

“On independence, Leonard was all over the place – and Labour’s refusal to accept that the people of Scotland have the right to choose their own future will simply condemn them to further election defeat.”

Tory MSP Maurice Golden said: “It is clear today that Nicola Sturgeon is planning a coalition with Corbyn and will demand a second independence referendum as her price.

“It is also quite clear that Richard Leonard’s role in all this will be to sit in the back seat and do what he’s told

“Mr Leonard isn’t prepared to take the fight to Sturgeon.

“He hasn’t got a plan to stop a second referendum. His response on anti-Semitism shows that the Scottish Labour branch office is passing the buck instead of taking action.”

UK Labour was also embroiled in more problems over anti-Semitism after Lord Falconer denied he had agreed to scrutinise the party’s disciplinary procedures.

Party General Secretary Jennie Formby announced on Friday that the former Lord Chancellor would act as a “critical independent friend” on the issue, but the peer said he had yet to agree his terms, and would also discuss them this week.

“Undertaking the role subject to agreement being reached,” he tweeted.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell denied Labour was institutionally anti-Semitic but said it “clearly” had a problem with a minority of members.

He told Sky News the party needed to react faster and be “more ruthless” on occasion, adding: “There’s blind spots on left and right - the right have been virulently, violently anti-Semitic in our community, but yes, there is an issue on the left.”