ARROGANT SNP politicians believe they have a right to rule Scotland, the leader of Scottish Labour has said. 

Richard Leonard made the comments as he insisted his party delivered devolution and will defend it.

He said he believed a devolved parliament within the UK "is still the popular choice of the people of Scotland". 

Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Leonard said: "The questions that I get asked are based on the SNP sweeping to a majority [at May's Holyrood election], and there is a certain arrogance about the SNP, there is a certain belief that somehow they've got a right to rule for the next five years. I dispute that."

His comments came after the radio station played Mr Leonard the results of a focus group of 2014 No voters, who dismissed his party as "finished" and "plodding along".

Mr Leonard said Scottish Labour has suffered an electoral decline and needs to turn that around.

He said he is "not too mesmerised by polls" but stressed he does not underestimate the scale of the challenge. 

He said people will have choices to make as the UK emerges from the coronavirus crisis. 

He said: "The parallel between now and the 20th century I think is quite instructive, because we can either come out of this crisis as we came out of the First World War and limp into recession and depression, or we can come out of this crisis as we came out of the Second World War and build a different kind of society, [with] a different priority, and tackle the great inequalities that we face and invest in public services and create things like a National Care Service which would tackle the problems that have been highlighted by the pressure put on through the pandemic."

Asked if he will be First Minister after the Holyrood election in May, Mr Leonard said he is "fighting for every single vote and every single seat". 

He said he is offering a "different kind of future". 

He said inequality and child poverty are rising in Scotland, and Labour "will not offer more of the same".