A MEMBER of Sir Keir Starmer’s front bench has said Richard Leonard should “consider his position”, adding to the pressure on his to quit as Scottish Labour leader.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow cabinet office minister, said Mr Leonard had to recognise that the opinions polls were “pretty dire for Labour” in Scotland.

Her call this morning comes a day after four of Mr Leonard’s own MSPs said they had lost confidence in him and warned he would lead Labour to electoral “catastrophe” in 2021.

Recent polling suggests Labour is down to 14 per cent support in the constituency and regional votes for Holyrood and will lose six of the 24 MSPs it won in 2016.

The party lost both its MEPs and six of its seven MPs in elections last year.

Asked if it was time for Mr Leonard to go, Ms Reeves told Sky News: “I think that Richard Leonard needs to think about his position.

“The opinion polls in Scotland are pretty dire for Labour.

“We’ve got important elections next year.

“But those are decisions for Scottish Labour.”

Pressed on whether he should resign, Ms Reeves said: “It is a decision for Scottish Labour.

“I think he needs to consider his position and do what he thinks is right for Scotland and for Scottish Labour.

“It’s not a decision for me to make.

"It wouldn’t be right as an English MP to instruct what happens in the Scottish labour party but he needs to look at the opinion polls, consider his position and do what he thinks is right for Scotland and for Scottish Labour.”

Sir Keir Starmer's office conspicuously failed to offer Mr Leonard any support as he faced a mutiny yesterday, merely saying it was a matter for Scottish Labour.

However Ms Reeves's blunt intervention suggests the new UK Labour leader has run out of patience with Mr Leonard, who has been in charge north of the border since November 2017 but remains largely unknown to the general public.

However UK Labour is aware that if it tried to remove directly Mr Leonard it would feed criticism that it considers Scottish Labour a "branch office".

Reacting to Ms Reeves's comments later on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Leonard insisted he would carry on as leader.

He said: “Rachel Reeves is not a member of the Scottish Labour party and I am elected by members of the Scottish Labour party. That’s who I am accountable to.

“They elected me back in 2017 to lead the Scottish Labour party into the May 2021 Scottish Parliament elections – that is what I am on course to do.

“I have received a huge number of messages of support from right across the party and the trade unions and I am confident that I’ve got the backing of the members of the Scottish Labour party.”