Anas Sarwar is set to appeal directly to Scottish independence voters in a bid to oust the Tories from government.

The Scottish Labour leader will deliver a speech in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency, one of two in Scotland to be held by Labour, pleading with independence voters to make 2024 "the year of change".

Sarwar's appeal to pro-indy voters will include him asking them to "unite" ahead of this year's general election, "regardless of how they voted before".

He'll say: "So let me say to those that may have supported independence in the past, and may even consider it in the future.

"I don’t support independence, and I don’t support a referendum, but I accept that we need change right now."

His speech follows an SNP MP's assertion that "the debate in independence stops" should Labour win more seats than the SNP in Scotland.

Tommy Shephard argued that the SNP losing its Westminster majority north of the border would dash hopes of independence, while himself calling on pro-indy voters to unite.

Labour won the most recent by-elections in Scotland, with a 20.4% vote swing in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

Similar swings across Scotland would see Sir Keir Starmer's party win 42 seats north of the border, according to Sir John Curtice.

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