Scottish independence: Labour MP George Mudie 'would vote Yes'

Image caption,
George Mudie was born in Scotland but represents the Leeds East constituency at Westminster

A Labour MP has said he would vote for Scottish independence if he was able to do so.

His party is part of the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence.

But George Mudie, the Scottish-born MP for Leeds East, has said he would like to see his home nation leave the UK.

In an interview with BBC Radio Leeds, the former government minister said: "If I were in Scotland I would be voting for an independent Scotland."

Mr Mudie, who is to retire as an MP at the next election, told Wes Butters: "The opportunity should be given, and is being given, to people in Scotland to say 'do you want to be independent?'

"Now, if I were to ask you as an Englishman 'do you want an independent England?' Yes."

Mr Mudie, who was born in Dundee, has represented the Leeds East constituency at Westminster since 1992.

He was a deputy chief whip, and later parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Education and Employment, in Tony Blair's Labour government, and has been a member of the Treasury Select Committee since 2001.

When Mr Mudie announced he was to retire as an MP, Labour leader Ed Miliband described him as a "fantastic MP" who would be a "huge loss" to the House of Commons.

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: "George Mudie is entitled to his opinion but we know the overwhelming majority of Scots share the view of the president of the United States Barack Obama that we are better together."

Former Scottish Labour Party chairman Bob Thomson, who is now a member of the Labour for Independence group, said: "Many Labour voters and members are realising that an independent Scottish Parliament is the only way of ensuring that the enormous wealth of Scotland works for all the people of Scotland."