LABOUR has rejected claims that the party is set to change its constitution to permanently rule out acoalition with the SNP. 

According to reports over the weekend Sir Keir Starmer was set to bring forward proposals to be debated at next month’s conference in Liverpool which would ban any arrangement with a nationalist party.

However, the idea was given short shrift by Welsh Labour who govern in partnership with Plaid Cymru. 

Others in the party suggested ruling out a coalition with the SNP but not the Conservatives could lead to awkward questions from supporters at the next election in Scotland

Many in Labour have long blamed the party’s defeat in 2015 on Tory claims that Ed Milliband would be in the pocket of Nicola Sturgeon. 

The campaign was resurrected again in the 2019 election and Boris Johnson and his potential successor have all claimed that a Startmer administration would need to be "propped up" by the SNP. 

A Labour source explained to the Sun on Sunday: “We are looking at writing it into our manifesto at conference. We don’t need to go into a formal coalition with the SNP.

“What are the SNP going to do? Vote down a Labour government and bring the Tories in? That would be catnip for us.

“If we can’t do it with the constitution at conference we will figure out some other mechanism to do it.”

It was billed as a Clause 4 moment when Tony Blair stamped his dominance on the party in 1995 by scraping the party’s commitment to mass nationalisation.

Alun Davies, the Welsh Labour Member of the Senedd for Blaenau Gwent described the plan as “nonsense.”

“Welsh Labour has a cooperation agreement with Plaid. And we have had a coalition with Plaid in the past,” he tweeted. “It’s time for UK Labour to learn from the success of Welsh Labour rather than the failures of Scottish Labour.”

David Clark, a former adviser to Labour foreign secretary Robin Cook described it as “bonkers.” 

He tweeted: ”It suggests that unionism has now supplanted democratic socialism as Labour’s core belief system. It would certainly be interesting to see this historic shift debated at conference.

“I assume some rationale will be provided, such as ‘no deals with parties that want to break up the UK’.

“The problems with this are obvious. What about Labour’s alliance with the SDLP, which advocates a united Ireland? Will SDLP MPs no longer be able to take the Labour whip?”

Mr Clark added: “This proposal is designed to dispose of a political problem in England, but its most obvious impact will be in Scotland where even those not persuaded of the case for independence will understand that Labour sees their constitutional debate as somehow deviant and unacceptable. 

“If this passes, I expect Scottish Labour candidates at the next election to be repeatedly asked why coalitions with the Tories are not also constitutionally prohibited. This will sit alongside increasingly visible examples of Labour-Tory cooperation in Scotland. 

“Voters should therefore be expected to draw the obvious conclusion that defending the Union is now more important to Labour than promoting social justice.

"The effect of this, inevitably, will be to put a low cap on Labour’s ability to recover in Scotland.”

On Monday, the BBC reported that the constitution would not be changed to rule out a coalition with the SNP. 

Sir Keir "doesn't need to read a rule book to know his values on this" a source told the broadcaster. However, they added that it would "be logical" for such a deal to be ruled out in the Labour manifesto.

Responding to the news, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard tweeted: "Regardless of whether this was a genuine plan, it’s becoming more and more obvious that everything Starmer does is defined by his fear of the Tories."