SIR Keir Starmer has insisted his party is looking to defeat the SNP, not work with them.

The Labour leader was in North Lanarkshire on Thursday night, where he told supporters that they could take seats off Nicola Sturgeon's party.

Currently, his only Scottish MP is Ian Murray, who represents Edinburgh South.

The party has never recovered from the disastrous 2015 election when they lost 40 of their 41 seats.

Sir Keir said the country faced a “long, hard winter” but the challenges of “the cost-of-living crisis, climate change, standing up to Putin, are common across our union”.

“Sticking a border between Scotland and England solves none of them,” he said and added: “Scotland needs a Labour Government in Westminster that can deliver change that’s right for working people – everywhere in England, and Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“But we must also be clear that Scotland needs the power and resources to shape its own future, whoever’s in power in Westminster.”

Sir Keir told the dinner, named after the founder of the Labour Party, that the SNP were “not interested in this”.

“For them, Scotland’s success in the UK: its leadership on renewable energy, its vital contribution to British security, its cultural brilliance and history of innovation, all achieved within this union by the solidarity, hope and idealism of working people – are met with denials, or a diminishing ‘ah but’,” he said.

“Well no more. We won’t work with them, we will defeat them.

“The party that stands for a fairer, greener Scotland is the same party that stands for a fairer, greener, Britain.

“It’s this Labour party, and together we will deliver both.”

Responding to the comments, the SNP's Westminster Depute Leader, Kirsten Oswald said: "Labour under Keir Starmer is a pro-Brexit party which stands shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in denying democracy in Scotland.

"The problem with Keir Starmer's Labour is that they believe they only way to beat the Tories is by turning into them. 

"Under his leadership, they have adopted the Tories' extreme Brexit ideology, have denied the people of Scotland their democratic right to choose their own future, and has prioritised grubby council coalitions with the Tories across Scotland.

"While Labour has slid into irrelevance in places like North Lanarkshire, the SNP will continue to stand up for Scotland's interests.

"However, only with independence can we build a fairer society and escape this corrupt, dysfunctional Westminster system for good."