FORMER Labour leader Jeremey Corbyn thinks a re-run of the 2014 Scottish independence vote will take place “in a few years”.

Mr Corbyn, who stood down as leader in 2019 after being rejected by the public at the last UK general election, and has since had the whip removed by the party because of his response to a report on antisemitism within Labour, struggled during his time in charge to settle on a position on the constitutional question in Scotland.

But on Thursday, he told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme he feels a referendum is imminent, adding that he does not “believe it’s a good idea to prevent people expressing a point of view”.

He said: “I’m strongly in support of people having their voice, therefore an independence referendum is something that I believe will happen probably within a few years.

“I think the pressure is there for it, I think it will happen, and I don’t believe it’s a good idea to prevent people expressing a point of view and an opinion and, obviously, that it what democracy has to be about.”

During his tenure at the top of the party, Mr Corbyn’s position on independence appeared to shift repeatedly, including during the 2019 election campaign, when he said a referendum would not happen in the early part of the parliamentary term under a Labour government after previously saying it would not happen for the entirety of the first term of a Corbyn administration.

Mr Corbyn’s comments come ahead of a tour of Scotland as part of an “alternative Cop26” next week, run by his Peace and Justice Project, which will include events in Glasgow and Edinburgh focusing on the climate crisis.

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: “Mr Corbyn is not a sitting Labour MP and private citizens are entitled to their views on a range of issues.”

A key Corbyn ally, the former Unite trade union boss, Len McCluskey, also said this week that Scottish Labour should shift its position to support another referendum and a party-wide debate can be held on their final position.

Mr McCluskey told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “In my opinion, they should support a second referendum on independence, what they actually do when that referendum comes can still be debated.”

The Wesh Government, run by Labour, has launched a constitutional commission to examine Wales’ future relationship with the UK – which includes independence as an option.

SNP MSP Paul McLennan said: “As each week passes, Anas Sarwar becomes more and more isolated in opposing a referendum in Scotland.
“There is a cast-iron mandate for an independence referendum when the Covid crisis is over – as expressed by the people in May’s Holyrood election.

"Anas Sarwar led Labour to their worst ever result in that election – and if he continues to side with Boris Johnson’s Trumpian-style denial of Scottish democracy, Labour will only slide further into the abyss.
“More and more people can see that Scottish Labour are a party with zero credibility, whose main policy appears to be protecting Westminster control over Scotland. Instead, they should show a bit of belief in the people of Scotland to make a grown-up decision about their own future – and the option of using Scotland’s immense human and natural resources to build a sustainable recovery from Covid.”