ANAS Sarwar will not apologise for supporting rail strikes despite Labour MPs who joined picket lines reportedly facing disciplinary action if they do not publicly say sorry.

The Scottish Labour leader was pictured alongside workers earlier this week, despite UK Labour leader Keir Starmer urging his MPs at Westminster not to be seen supporting RMT members on strike.

Mr Sarwar has taken a more relaxed stance than the UK Labour leader in showing support for the industrial action.

The Guardian has reported that some of the rebel Labour MPs have been asked to issue a statement explaining why they attended the industrial action, suggesting those who do not could face disciplinary action.

Five of Sir Keir’s frontbenchers ignored a memo issued on Monday stressing that “leadership” was required by not being seen supporting the strike action.

The memo said: "We have robust lines. We do not want to see these strikes to go ahead with the resulting disruption to the public. The government have failed to engage in any negotiations.

“Please be reminded that frontbenchers including PPSs [parliamentary private secretaries] should not be on picket lines.”

The Scottish Labour leader met with striking workers in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning.

In a tweet, he said: “Solidarity with those on the picket lines. This is a crisis entirely of the Government’s making.

“The workers don’t want strikes. The unions don’t want strikes. The public don’t want strikes. They demand better.”

But Mr Sarwar will not apologise for supporting the strikers and has not been asked by the UK party to do so.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Anas Sarwar was proud to stand in solidarity with those on the picket lines.

“This is a crisis entirely of the Government’s making.

“The workers don’t want strikes. The unions don’t want strikes. The public don’t want strikes, they demand better.”

An SNP spokesperson said: "What Anas Sarwar should apologise for is putting Tories into power across Scotland’s councils after he promised not to.

"But at the end of the day it doesn't matter what Anas Sarwar says or doesn't say - he is just the branch manager. The power lies with Westminster Labour and Keir Starmer and we now know he will not stand up for ordinary workers.

"The recently published Scottish Government paper on the new case for independence pointed out the UK is one of the least fair and poorest countries per head in comparison to our European neighbours and that is a direct result of Westminster governments - both red and blue.

"The people of Scotland should be in no doubt that whether it's the Tories or Labour, Westminster control means more of the same."

Following Mr Sarwar’s show of support for RMT members, he was criticised by the Scottish Conservatives.

Scottish Tories shadow transport minister, Graham Simpson, claimed Mr Sarwar was “firmly on the side of this militant union”.

He added: “Passengers across the country will have been outraged to see Anas Sarwar on the picket lines, supporting these selfish strikes.

“Even Keir Starmer knows that these strikes are excessive and irresponsible. The Scottish Labour leader is utterly out of touch if he thinks he’ll win support with this blatant stunt.”