SCOTTISH Labour under Richard Leonard’s leadership is in “financial decline” after bringing in the lowest amount of income since records began nearly twenty years ago.

The ailing party, which slumped to fifth place at the European election, saw its income fall by over 60% compared to the previous year and and registered a £32,452 deficit.

Meanwhile, the infighting that broke out last week over the party’s position on another independence referendum has intensified after a party peer effectively called for Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow Scottish secretary to be replaced.

Lord Foulkes, a former minister, said “almost anyone” would be better in the post than MP Lesley Laird.

Civil war broke out in Scottish Labour on Tuesday after shadow chancellor John McDonnell said in Edinburgh that a Corbyn-led Government would not block indyref2.

Paul Hutcheon: the biggest threat to the Union is Scottish Labour's disintegration

This stance directly contradicted Leonard – a fellow left-winger – and led to claims that UK Labour had overruled the Scottish party.

Tensions escalated on Friday after it emerged that Scottish Labour general secretary Brian Roy had been forced out of his job. One of his potential successors is Tommy Kane, who advises Corbyn on Scotland.

The party’s latest accounts reveal that Scottish Labour is also facing financial problems.

According to the Electoral Commission, the party brought in £259,425 in 2018, which covers Leonard’s first full year in charge.

This contrasts with £738,859 in 2017, £400,436 in 2016, £1,073,108 twelve months earlier, £905,142 during the year of the independence referendum, and £406,226 in 2013.

Records go back to 2002 and the 2018 figure is the lowest for any of the 17 years.

Donation income in Leonard’s first year also fell to £35,555 from £152,690 in 2017. The figure was the lowest since 2009.

However, membership and subscription income was up from £103,194 to £105,948 and the party has a six-figure reserve.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour breaks silence over anti-semitism investigation by blasting "biased" BBC

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: "2018 was the first year since 2013 that Scottish Labour hadn't been fighting either an election or a referendum campaign.

"Unlike the Tories we're not a party backed by and for big businesses and millionaires, we're proud of being a people-powered movement funded by lots of smaller donations and trade union members."

However, a party source said: "This financial decline is alarming and will panic candidates preparing for a snap election. Sadly it's no surprise given our complete failure to engage with the business community that donations have dried up, and we look more unelectable by the day."

Meanwhile, sources told this newspaper that Roy was forced out because he could not be relied on to help push through changes that are important to Leonard and the Corbynistas.

It is understood that, during a recent attempt at hiring a new head of communications, Leonard’s team wanted the job to go to a journalist from a far-left publication, but Roy resisted.

Leonard’s allies also want the party’s governing executive to appoint some candidates for the Holyrood elections in 2021, rather than letting members decide. An insider said Roy would have raised questions about such a move.

In another development, Foulkes criticised McDonnell’s comments on indyref2 and blasted what he regards as the shadow cabinet’s failure to develop UK-wide policies on constitutional change.

“I have been trying to tell them for four years, but b****r all has been done about it,” he said.

On Laird’s role in Corbyn’s team, he said: “She approached me and said she had heard a rumour that I was not a great fan of hers. I said the rumour is true. Almost anyone would be better than her.”

On Leonard, he said: “He has no charisma and no leadership credentials at all.”

Leonard’s MSPs were split last week on whether to sign a statement condemning McDonnell, with the majority agreeing and a minority refusing.

The MSP group meets tomorrow in Glasgow for an away day, an event geared towards fostering camaraderie and team-building.