A Scottish Labour MP is at the centre of a row over claims he informed an international audience that he could see Scotland voting for independence.

Hugh Gaffney is said to have gone off script at an event at the UK High Commissioner’s residence in Canada.

Members of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee last month flew to Canada to meet federal and provincial authorities to talk about immigration, trade and drugs policy.

At an event in Ottawa, attended by MPs, members of the media and the British High Commissioner, a discussion took place that included contributions on a second Brexit referendum and the impact on another independence vote.

Although Scottish Labour is firmly opposed to independence, Gaffney, who represents Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, is said to have offered a view that veered from his party’s official position.

One source on the trip said: “He said he could see Scotland voting for independence if there was another referendum.”

Another insider said: “I think he probably said if Brexit goes ahead independence will happen, something to that effect.”

The MP, a former postal worker who is known to be gaffe-prone, faced calls for his suspension last year over homophobic and racist comments at a Burns supper in Edinburgh.

In an attempt at humour, he referred to the Bard's love of women: “He started of being a farmer/But he really was such a charmer/Going for ales he frequent/Telling the lads and lassies he was not bent.”

He also used the racist word "chinky" when describing a Chinese meal. After being reprimanded, he agreed to go on an equality and diversity training course.

Scottish Tory MP David Duguid, a member of the committee, said: "Scotland voted decisively to remain a vital part of the UK. Polls indicate four in five people have no appetite for another one. Mr Gaffney's reported comments hint at the deep divisions within his party. Labour seems to have forgotten what it stands for. Only the Scottish Conservatives respect the results of 2014 and 2016."

Scottish Labour did not provide a response, but a party source said: "Hugh apparently said Yes could win in the event of a second independence referendum being held if Leave won in a second EU referendum.”