Sir Keir Starmer has insisted the UK will not rejoin EU if he becomes Prime Minister - prompting renewed criticism from the SNP.

The Labour leader said today “it’s a straight no from me” on the question of whether his party would take the UK back into the bloc if it wins power.

A series of opinion surveys carried out in recent weeks in the wake of the Conservatives' ill-fated mini-budget have suggested a heavy defeat for the Tories on polling day with Labour poised to form the next UK Government.

The next general election is not due to take place in 2024 but there are cross party calls for a snap election to be held this year amid turmoil in the Conservative Government which led to Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing her resignation last Thursday.

Sir Keir supported remaining in the EU ahead of the referendum but now supports Brexit.

Asked during an LBC phone-in  this morning if it is time for a change of heart again, Sir Keir said: “It’s a straight no from me, we’re not going back into the EU. That isn’t a position of my party, that isn’t what an incoming Labour government would do.

“We do think that we should make Brexit work. I think all that’s happened so far is we’ve got Brexit done in the sense that we’re out of the EU. I think we’ve got to make it work now.”

Brexit is set to be a key issue during the general election campaign in Scotland with Scots voting by 62 per cent to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum.

The SNP have stepped up their attacks on Labour in recent weeks accusing Sir Keir's party of ignoring how Scots voted.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to take Scotland back into the EU as an independent member state and plans to hold a second independence referendum in October next year.

Commenting on Sir Keir's remarks today, the SNP's Europe spokeswoman Dr Philippa Whitford MP said: "Keir Starmer’s Brexit sell-out makes it clearer than ever that independence is the only route back into the EU for Scotland.

“It's staggering that rather than opposing this economically devastating policy, Keir Starmer is enthusiastically embracing the Tories' extreme Brexit and all the damage that comes with it.

"We know that Brexit has ripped us out of a market seven times bigger than the UK, hammered businesses and stripped away opportunities. Yet, Starmer's Labour, it seems, is intent on reading from the Tory script. He won’t even consider single market membership just like the Tories.

"Whether it is on Brexit or immigration, Keir Starmer is grasping every opportunity to reassure people that Labour, under him, are just like the Tories.

"The grim reality is that Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster – costing the economy billions and sending the UK on a path of long-term decline. The UK economic crisis and squeeze on living standards are here to stay as long as we are out of the EU.

 “The evidence is already in - Brexit doesn’t work. With both Labour and the Tories both committed to the long-term damage of Brexit, it's clear that independence is the only route back to the EU and to build a fairer and more prosperous society."

During the LBC phone-in Sir Keir promised there would be no new oil and gas licences granted under Labour.

Asked if he could give that pledge, he told LBC: “Yes, I can.”

“We accept there’s got to be a transition, so where there is oil and gas already being yielded that needs to continue as part of the transition, but no new sites, no new fields to be opened,” he said.

“We need to transition to renewables. We can do it … we can double our onshore wind, we can triple our solar energy and we can quadruple our offshore wind – and the sooner we do that, the better.

“I do think that new nuclear, as well, and hydrogen are part of the equation.”

The Labour leader also gave his views on pay rises and immigration.

He said a “sustainable pay rise” is only possible if there is growth in the economy.

He told LBC: “In the end, the only way to a sustainable pay rise is if you grow the economy.

“The biggest problem of the last 12 years is that the economy hasn’t grown anything like it did under the last Labour government. That has to be the priority.

“That’s why we need to change government. We need respect for the institutions like the OBR and the Bank of England that actually give us stability, we need a proper credible plan for growth, because in the end a sustainable pay rise will only be available if we have growth under our economy.”

On immigration, he said there is “not a great deal” between Labour and the Tories when it comes to their preference for a “points-based” system.

But he said Labour would scrap the Government’s controversial Rwanda scheme.

He told LBC: “Now we don’t have free movement any more, then you either have a pure numbers game or you have a points-based system that says ‘well, for certain types of jobs, certain types of roles here, you would get a number of points’. I think that makes sense.

“So, in that sense, not a great deal between the major parties on immigration.

“We would have a slightly different approach and I would particularly want to welcome really good students. I feel that over the years we’ve put good students off coming here and many of them have ended up going to Australia and Canada and the US.

“I would want to see the best possible students coming to this country to study.”

Sir Keir said he will not attend the World Cup in Qatar, and neither will any of his senior colleagues.

Asked if he would go to the final if England reached it, he told LBC: “No, I wouldn’t. I’d love to, but I think that the human rights record is such that I wouldn’t go, and that would be the position of the Labour Party.”

Pressed on whether he would attend any of the games, he said: “No.”

He said the case would be the same for his senior colleagues.

And he revealed he he got a detention for fighting in school.

He told LBC his former classmate Lord Cooper was “not completely wrong” to say he was “a bit of a lad”.

He admitted he once got a detention for fighting, but said he could not remember who was involved.

“There was bits and bobs going on, yeah,” he added.