LABOUR leader Richard Leonard has been accused of "dragging the party down with him" after an inadequate performance at First Minister's Questions.

Mr Leonard, who was ignored calls for him to quit ahead of next year's Holyrood election, was accused of entering “politically suicidal territory” after pressing Nicola Sturgeon on a host of issues the First Minister has already committed to. A Labour insider has now warned that Mr Leonard is "putting the Union at risk with his ineptitude".

Mr Leonard was left red-faced when he called for Ms Sturgeon to press the UK Government to extend the furlough scheme and commit to a “quality jobs guarantee scheme” - both of which the First Minister has already done.

WATCH: ‘Politically suicidal’ Richard Leonard left red-faced after horror FMQs

He then called on the Scottish Government to extend a ban on evictions which has been done as part of emergency Covid-19 legislation.

Mr Leonard also pointed to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) statistics, in an attempt to make the case for the Union – warning that “Scotland has a fiscal deficit of £15 billion and rising”.

Ms Sturgeon said that "almost a half of Richard Leonard’s remaining Labour supporters, a dwindling band of people, but almost a half of them now support Scotland becoming an independent country.”

READ MORE: Richard Leonard won't quit as Labour leader and will oppose another independence referendum

She added: “Talking about deficits at a time when the UK deficit is projected next year to be almost £400 billion and at a time when the UK debt has just topped £2 trillion is not the strongest territory for the Tories to be on, but it seems like politically suicidal territory for Labour to be on.”

A Scottish Labour source said: “Richard not only missed an open goal, he wasn’t even on the pitch.

“It’s bad enough that he’s dragging the party down with him, but he’s also putting the Union at risk with his ineptitude.”