Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said he believes Sir Keir Starmer is capable of inspiring voters north of the border to elect a Labour government at Westminster.

Scottish Labour will hold its annual conference over the weekend in Glasgow over the weekend, with the leader of the opposition expected to attend.

Despite his party being likely to sweep to power in the general election, Mr Starmer's appeal to Scottish voters remains something of an open question.

The most recent YouGov poll (January 29) but his disapproval rating at 48% north of the border compared to 35% approval, while an Ipsos Mori poll in November put those figures at 52% and 32% respectively.

Mr Starmer has endured a difficult week after Labour were forced to suspend two parliamentary candidates for over comments about the war in Gaza, shortly after he abandoned his pledge to invest £28bn per year in the green economy if elected Prime Minister.

That abandoned environmental commitment, along with his stance on the situation between Israel and Gaza, is seen as a potential weakness for the party going into the election campaign, especially among young voters and the Muslim community. A UK-wide poll on Wednesday put their lead over the Conservatives at its lowest in seven months.

Read More: Alison Rowat: who is to blame for Labour by-election omnishambles?

Asked if he felt Mr Starmer was an inspiring figure on the doorsteps of Scotland, Mr Sarwar replied: "Yes.

"I will be proudly campaigning for Keir Starmer to be the Prime Minister.

“I think the job he has done in the last four years is incredible, to take us from our worst result in living memory to now having us in a position where we can win the general election – a job people thought was a 10 year job he’s done in four years’ time.

“He deserves immense credit for that, but not a single vote has been cast in the general election so our feet are on the ground, we’ve got hard work to do, we’re not taking anything for granted.

"What I’d say is we’ve had David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Liz Truss and now Rishi Sunak – all of whom have been a disaster for our country.

“We’ve got a choice in Scotland. Our choice is we either have five more years of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Lee Anderson, Suella Braverman, Priti Patel or we get rid of this shower and elect a Labour government to get some seriousness, get grown-ups back in the room making decisions in the interests of working people.”

“Unlike the SNP we won’t say that Scotland doesn’t matter – I believe every Scot matters, that Scotland matters, and every Scottish family matters and if you elect a Labour government then Scottish people will matter at the heart of a UK government."

Mr Sarwar was speaking on a visit to the TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory in East Kilbride, as he unveiled his party's blueprint for economic growth in Scotland.

He said Scottish Labour would unlock the true economic potential of Scotland using existing Holyrood powers, focusing on the green economy, technological innovation, ‘Brand Scotland’ – tourism and hospitality, the creative industries, and food and drink.

Mr Sarwar said: "We’ve had 17 years of financial mismanagement, we’ve had a failure to come up with an economic plan and we’ve had the worst budget in the history of devolution where we’re asking working people to pay more and get less.

“What we want to do is put economic policy and delivering economic growth front-and-centre of our politics.

“I’m really clear that we’ll use the fruits of that economic growth to first of all reform our public services, in particular our health and social care system where 800,000 or more of our fellow Scots are on and NHS waiting list, and further to that use the fruits of that growth to reduce the tax burden for working people.

Read More: Keir Starmer expected to face protests on Gaza at Scottish Labour conference

“Unlike (First Minister) Humza Yousaf I don’t believe that if you’re earning £28,500 in this country that you have the broadest shoulders, and in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis where your mortgage has gone up by £2,000, your energy bill has almost doubled, and food prices have gone up by over 20% that somehow you can afford to pay more tax.

"I accept that there are people below £28,500 who might pay a few pounds less in tax (than in England) but there are people earning above that who are paying significantly more.

“If you’re trying to make ends meet and you’re also having the not unrealistic expectation that you want to be able to take your family on holiday once a year, you should have a government who is on your side as well.

“I will not be a Labour party which is anti-aspiration like we have with this current government.

"I don't want to be the anti-growth and anti-business party, I want us to be the party of aspiration and I want working people to feel they’ve got a government that’s on their side, not one that’s attacking them."

Quizzed on whether Mr Starmer's scaling back of commitments to green projects would affect Scottish parts such as GB Energy, a publicly-owned energy company based in Scotland, and a green jobs fund Mr Sarwar said: "The details of that were well below the figure that was set out at that conference two years ago.

“So those policies absolutely stand. And we will be investing in our port infrastructure, in our supply chain jobs here.

“We’ll be investing in onshore wind, offshore wind, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage.”