LABOUR will descend into “civil war and bloodletting” and be too busy fighting themselves to oppose the Tories, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.

The First Minister’s remarks come after key Jeremy Corbyn ally Len McCluskey, the boss of the Unite trade union, suggested Labour winning 200 seats would be seen as a successful result, In 2015, under Ed Miliband, Labour won 232 seats.

Campaigning in Musselburgh with candidate George Kerevan, the First Minister said a vote for Labour would be a “blank cheque” for Theresa May to push through a hard Brexit unopposed.

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Sturgeon told BBC Scotland: “I think when we’ve got one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, perhaps his very closest ally, Len McCluskey, effectively saying Labour’s not going to win this election and it’s all about damage limitation, then we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you want MPs that are going to hold the Tories to account, be an effective opposition and stand up for Scotland’s interests, then that in Scotland can only come from the SNP.

“If Labour’s heading for the kind of defeat that some of the polls suggest, they’re going to descend into a period of civil war and bloodletting.

“So, they’re not going to be capable of being an opposition to the Tories.

“Real opposition, just as it has over the past two years, will only come from the SNP. Tory MPs will be a rubber-stamp for Theresa May, Labour’s not fit to be in opposition.”

The First Minister also criticised Scottish Tory boss Ruth Davidson for attempting to “stir up division” over the constitution.

She told ITVNews: “The reality is in this election the Tories only want to talk about independence because they don’t want to talk about their record and they don’t want to talk about their policies.

“Ruth Davidson doesn’t want to talk about the rape clause, rising inequality, rising poverty because of Tory tax and benefit policies.

“So, she’s engaged in a diversionary tactic in this election.

“Of course, people in Scotland have different opinions on independence but we can disagree without being divided and I think Ruth Davidson is doing her best to try to stir up division.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the campaign trail, Labour’s Kezia Dugdale said the vote on June 8 could determine if the UK continues to exist at all.

In a bid to attract voters who oppose constitutional obsessions of the SNP and the Tories, Dugdale promised a Labour government would “get on with the day job”.

“In three weeks, the Scottish Labour candidate on the ballot paper is the option to reject the extremes of both the SNP and the Tories,” she said at a campaign stop in Glasgow.

“You can vote for a Scotland where we put the real issues of our jobs, our economy and our public services first.

“Every Labour MP you elect to the House of Commons won’t be there to make the case for independence or to force Brexit through at any cost.

“They’ll be there to put your jobs, our economy and our public services first.”

She also insisted Labour had little choice but to make independence a key feature of their campaign: “I wish this election was about the economy and about jobs, but as long as it is about the constitution we stand firmly against a second independence referendum and against independence because of the turbo-charged austerity it would bring.”

South of the border, the Prime Minister was forced to deny rumours of tensions between her and chancellor Philip Hammond.

Hammond dismissed the rumours as “media tittle tattle.”