Scotland key to delivering Labour government - Corbyn

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Nowhere in the UK is more important than Scotland in delivering a Labour government, Jeremy Corbyn has said, as he prepares to bring his summer tour north of the border.

The Labour leader will be in Scotland from Wednesday, where he is targeting up to 18 SNP seats.

Mr Corbyn has kept his party in campaigning mode since June in case Theresa May's minority government collapses.

Of the 64 seats Labour needs to win to secure a parliamentary majority, more than a quarter are in Scotland, according to the party.

"Scotland holds the keys to a delivering a Labour government for the whole United Kingdom," Mr Corbyn said.

"We have stayed on an election footing all summer, and nowhere is more important to delivering another Labour government than Scotland."

Citing policies such as a £10-an-hour minimum wage, a ban on zero hour contracts, and tax rises to fund public services, he added: "The only way to deliver the truly radical change that Scotland needs is to back Labour in Scotland."

Mr Corbyn is due to hold a series of campaign events speaking to thousands of voters in constituencies where SNP MPs have wafer-thin majorities.

The party already holds seven seats north of the border, after it surpassed expectations in last month's snap election.

The result came despite claims from the Conservatives that Mr Corbyn was weak on the issue of a second independence referendum.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, said: "Scotland will be crucial at the next General Election, whenever it comes.

"Labour has a message that resonates with people across Scotland and that saw seats won and majorities slashed across Scotland.

"Next time around we are ready to win those seats - and help deliver a government that works for the many, not the few."

Tory MSP Miles Briggs said: "Had he won the General Election, Corbyn would have sold Scotland out in a heartbeat, and that ambivalence to Scotland's place in the UK hasn't changed."

SNP MSP Maree Todd said: "It's just 12 months since Kezia Dugdale was leading calls for Jeremy Corbyn to be ousted as Labour leader, saying she didn't believe he could win an election.

"Mr Corbyn backs the Tories' extreme Brexit plans, which threaten to be disastrous for Scottish jobs, investment and living standards - and he also presides over a party which is committed to dumping another generation of morally repugnant nuclear weapons in Scotland.

"There is nothing remotely radical or progressive about such policies, and people across Scotland know it."