Scotland “can lead the way” to a Labour government, Sir Keir Starmer is expected to tell his party’s conference in Liverpool.
The Labour leader will address his party for the first time since their win in Rutherglen and Hamilton West last week, where new MP Michael Shanks got more than twice as many votes as the SNP’s candidate.
The win, which was hailed as “seismic” by Sir Keir, would catapult Labour to be the largest party in Scotland at the next general election if it was replicated elsewhere, according to analysts.
Sir Keir will say: “Scotland can lead the way to a Labour Government, but be under no illusions – we must earn every vote.
“And we must understand that the Scottish people are not just looking at us, they’re also looking at Britain.
“The challenge of change remains but, nonetheless, conference for the first time in a long time we can see a tide that is turning.
“Four nations that are renewing.
“Old wounds of division – exploited by the Tories and the SNP – beginning to heal.
“So let the message from Rutherglen and Hamilton West ring out across Britain.
”Labour serves working people in Scotland because Labour serves working people across all these islands.”
Sir Keir’s comments also come in the days after his party set its sights on the 2026 Holyrood election, with a Panelbase poll of more than 1,000 Scots, suggesting Scottish Labour could be the largest party, sending leader Anas Sarwar to Bute House.
Speaking ahead of the speech, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said the people of Scotland “want to see real change and real help with the cost of living” and not “more Tory cuts imposed by a timid, Tory-lite Labour Party”.
He added: “Sir Keir Starmer has the opportunity today to change tack and back the SNP’s calls for a major cost-of-living support package at the autumn budget – including mortgage interest relief, a £400 energy bill rebate, and action to reduce food prices in supermarkets.
“These are the kind of bold measures needed to boost household incomes and reverse rising poverty – and governments around the world are already implementing them, showing what independent countries of Scotland’s size can achieve.
“The SNP will continue to push the Tories and Labour Party to back urgent help to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
“With every day Westminster fails to act, it is showing why Scotland needs independence to help families and boost the economy.”
Press Association – Craig Paton