JEREMY Corbyn will “without a doubt” relent and allow a second independence referendum next year if he needs SNP support to be Prime Minister, the Justice Secretary has said. 

Despite the Labour leader rejecting Indyref2 in the early years of a Labour government, Humza Yousaf predicted he would shift position “when he needs the keys to Number 10".

Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants another vote on independence in late 2020.

However Labour has suggested the SNP would need to secure a fresh mandate in the 2021 Holyrood election first.

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In a surprise admission, the Tory Scottish Secretary Alister Jack also said this week that an SNP majority in 2021 would deliver a “democratic mandate” for Indyref2.

His comments flew in the face of Boris Johnson’s flat refusal to allow a new vote while PM.

Mr Yousaf said: “We've been very clear it's not for Jeremy Corbyn, neither Boris Johnson, it is for the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament to decide when there should be another independence referendum, and we want to hold one in 2020, as the First Minister has said."

He added: "Jeremy Corbyn's position on this has shifted a number of times already in what is a relatively short campaign. I suspect what he says now will not necessarily be what he says when he needs the keys to Number 10."

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Pushed on whether he believes there will be room for manoeuvre to get a second Scottish independence referendum after the election, Mr Yousaf said: "I think Nicola Sturgeon put it pretty clearly at our conference speech - don't bother picking up the phone if you're not going to talk about a second independence referendum, and that is a clear marker for us."

Asked whether he believed Mr Corbyn will pick up the phone, he said: "Without a doubt, because if Jeremy Corbyn wants to put forward the rest of his programme for government, his Queen's Speech, his budget, he, by current polls certainly, will need a number of partners to help him do that. The SNP as things stand are the third largest party in the United Kingdom, we are going to be the kingmakers, potentially."

Scottish Labour have been asked for comment.