The LABOUR party has defended its use of Catholic data in determining its likelihood of election success in Scotland.

A party source has said allegations of sectarianism are "unfounded and untrue" and that the data was considered alongside "dozens of other variables".

It comes after a leaked memo showed the party had used information about the percentage of Catholics in Scottish constituencies to determine if they were likely to win against the SNP ahead of the 2019 poll.

The confidential ‘key seats strategy’ document does not state whether the party thought it was more or less likely to win against the SNP in areas with more Catholic people, but said it would help to “distinguish better between Labour and SNP supporters”.

Opposition politicians and members of the Scottish Labour party have described the analysis as "old fashioned" and "outdated", with Scottish Labour sources saying they were humiliated by the leak.

Now the UK Labour party has defended its use of the data, with a source saying: "All political parties carry out election analysis and modelling based on a wide variety of different data.

"The data on religion used was about entire constituencies from publicly available sources, and was used alongside dozens of other variables.

"Allegations of sectarianism are unfounded and untrue."

The memo, prepared ahead of the 2019 General Election, and at the time when Jeremy Corbyn was leader, also states the party considered that the public did not think it was a serious rival to the SNP in Scotland.

It suggested that party funds would be better spent challenging seats in England and Wales where they were more likely to have success than attempt to win in Scotland.

It also predicted that seven MPs would lose their positions.

Following the poll in December, the Labour party was reduced to just one Scottish MP - shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray, who represents Edinburgh South.