'Labour has declared it would not block a second Scottish referendum in a significant shift of policy as Nicola Sturgeon hinted at a possible “progressive alliance”.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said any decision about holding a vote on independence would be up to the Scottish Parliament, saying: “that’s democracy”.
His comments signal a major change of direction for the party on the issue and came after Scottish first minister Ms Sturgeon suggested she would be open to a pact with Labour that would “lock the Tories out of government”.
In an interview with journalist Iain Dale at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Mr McDonnell said Labour would not block a second vote on Scottish independence.
He said: "It will be for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people to decide that. They will take a view about whether they want another referendum.
Mr McDonnell added: "We would not block something like that. We would let the Scottish people decide. That's democracy. There are other views within the party but that's our view."
This contradicts the view taken by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard. In an interview on the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland in March, he said if Labour took power in Westminster the party would refuse to grant a "Section 30 order" giving Holyrood the power to hold another vote.
Mr Leonard added: "What we said in the manifesto at the 2017 election was that there is no case for, and we would not support, a second independence referendum."
Mr McDonnell’s comments on Tuesday night came just hours SNP leader Ms Sturgeon signalled her party would move towards a pact aimed at ousting Boris Johnson as the parties prepared for an autumn election.'
Read more: Labour declares it wouldn't block second Scottish independence vote as Nicola Sturgeon hints at 'alliance'
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