Mhairi Black: Jeremy Corbyn told me he supports Scottish independence

Posted On: 
7th May 2018

The SNP's Mhairi Black has said Jeremy Corbyn told her he backs Scotland becoming an independent country in a private conversation.

Mhairi Black said she knew Jeremy Corbyn supported Scottish independence "from talking to him"
PA Images

The firebrand MP said the Labour leader had “sold out” over the issue, adding that she knew he “doesn’t believe the things he says about it”.

Labour's formal position is to back the union and Mr Corbyn has previously said he would campaign against separation in the event of a second referendum on the issue.

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But Ms Black, who said she was “excited” by the left-winger's election as party leader, added that she was “raging” at him for having “sold his soul” on various issues.

“He has had unelected lords in his cabinet. He’s had scandal upon scandal, and don’t get me wrong, I get that there is a whole lot of backbenchers against Jeremy, but he has sold his soul,” she said in an interview with HuffPost UK.

She added: “He has sold out in terms of austerity. He has sold out in terms of Scottish independence – because I know that he doesn’t believe the things he says about independence now.” 

Asked directly how she knew Mr Corbyn backed independence, the Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP said: “From talking to him”.

However when further pressed, she continued: “I couldn’t possibly comment further."

A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn told PoliticsHome that Ms Black's claim was "complete nonsense".

The MP also rounded on the Labour leader for pledging to renew Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent and for failing to promise to undo all of Theresa May’s austerity measures.

"Jeremy has really let me down. He has been hypocritical and that was one of the things that I loved about him – that he wasn’t a hypocrite,” she added.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ms Black said Boris Johnson was partly responsible for why racists “feel emboldened” as a result of language he has used.

She added that Labour had been guilty of “anti-immigrant rhetoric” and claimed the SNP was the “only major party that has actually been positively making the case for immigration”. 

“Language is important, and just like the Tories, Labour have been guilty of anti-immigration rhetoric from their ‘British jobs for British workers’ slogan to their ‘immigration control’ mugs,” she said.