Keir Starmer has been described as “out of touch and untrustworthy” after making a visit to Scotland.
The Labour leader travelled to Glasgow on Friday and visited the Italian café Piada in Shawlands ahead of Small Business Saturday.
He pledged that he would bring about change for Scotland if elected prime minister, as he acknowledged that people in the country do not want to maintain the status quo.
In an interview with the Daily Record newspaper, Starmer insisted that he had “always been an advocate” of more powers in Scotland.
And he made the case for a changed Scotland within a changed United Kingdom.
He said: “I want to roll up our sleeves and run towards the challenge. And the challenge is dealing with the cost of living crisis, restoring stability to our economy and growing our economy everywhere, restoring our public services, and accepting the basis of the argument there needs to be a change in Scotland.
“I do understand that yearning for change, that yearning for the ability to improve families, communities, change in Scotland, I accept that.
“I think that can be done within the case for a changed Scotland, within a changed United Kingdom.”
However, the SNP criticised the Labour leader, claiming he had made “empty promises” to the electorate.
Rona Mackay, SNP MSP, claimed that Starmer’s trip to Scotland would be a wasted one if he thinks Scots would accept a “pro-Brexit” Labour Party.
“Keir Starmer’s latest fleeting visit to Scotland has shown him, yet again, to be out of touch and untrustworthy,” she said.
“It has underlined that the pro-Brexit Labour leader would be no alternative to a Tory prime minister and independence is the only way people across Scotland can build the better future they deserve.
“Keir Starmer has had a wasted trip if he thinks that Scots will accept that a pro-Brexit Labour Party standing in the way of Scottish democracy and dishing out empty promises is their only other choice to the Tories.
“Quite frankly, it is no choice at all and that’s why people voted to have the choice of a proper alternative as an independent country.”
Mackay also insisted on the need for people in Scotland to be given a vote on independence.
She added: “The pro-Brexit Labour leader should be embarrassed at the paltry plans and empty words he packs for his trips to Scotland and instead should use the time to listen.
“Maybe then he’ll accept that blocking democracy and ramping up right wing rhetoric is now what people across Scotland want – they want to have a say over their future in a referendum.”