JEREMY Corbyn was accused by the Conservatives of “surrendering” on a second Scottish independence referendum after he again insisted it was not up to Westminster to block another poll backed by Holyrood.

While the Labour leader insisted he did not think staging another vote on Scotland’s future was a good idea and that he would advise against it, his signal that a government led by him would not oppose it in Parliament led to a wave of criticism from his Tory and Liberal Democrat opponents.

The SNP, by contrast, insisted Mr Corbyn had taken the "right" position on a second independence referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "I'm not Jeremy Corbyn's biggest fan but on this he's right. It is legitimate to oppose independence and to argue against a referendum; it's not legitimate for Westminster to block a democratic mandate and a majority vote in @scotparl for #indyref2."

The Labour leader’s latest comments followed those of his colleague John McDonnell, who, last week at the Edinburgh Festival caused consternation among some Labour politicians when he suggested Labour should allow Holyrood to stage a second independence referendum if MSPs voted for one; a contradiction of the party’s own policy.

Scottish Labour has campaigned vigorously against holding another vote with its leader Richard Leonard having previously indicated the party in government would refuse to grant Holyrood the power to stage one.

When asked if he agreed with Mr McDonnell’s view expressed last week, Mr Corbyn said: "It's not up to Parliament to block it but it's up to Parliament to make a point about whether it's a good idea or not. I do not think it's a good idea."

He added: "I'm not in favour of Scottish independence; the referendum did take place and a decision was reached on that.

"What I'd much rather[see] is a Labour government given the chance to ensure that Scotland also gets the investment it needs, also gets the social justice it needs, and also gets the job opportunities for young people which have been denied."

A Scottish Labour spokesman supported the UK party leader’s comments, saying: “Jeremy Corbyn said he is not in favour of Scottish independence and he believes a decision was reached when the 2014 referendum democratically affirmed Scotland's place in the United Kingdom.

"He and Richard Leonard have made clear there is no economic case for independence, especially with the SNP's new position of ditching the pound and new policy of turbo-charged austerity to bear down on the deficit.”

Labour's Ian Murray, the Edinburgh South MP, commenting on Mr Corbyn's latest statement, told The Herald: “This is nothing more than Ruth Davidson and others have said in the past but the simple fact is that this is not Labour Party policy, which is to oppose a divisive second independence referendum. It’s as simple as that."

However, Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said: "Simply put, Jeremy Corbyn has surrendered on a second independence referendum.

"Both he and John McDonnell are preparing to hand Nicola Sturgeon the referendum she wants in exchange for SNP support for a Labour Government."

He added: "Scottish Labour has been left dangling in the breeze; they are utterly irrelevant, even to their own party. It's clear who's in charge of Scottish Labour and it's not Richard Leonard. It's a complete betrayal of thousands of Labour voters in Scotland who support the Union.”

Willie Rennie, for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said he felt sorry for Scottish Labour voters. “They've been hung out to dry time and time again by a leader who gets it wrong on independence and wrong on Brexit."