KEY SNP figures have slammed Labour for failing to properly back a second EU referendum in its European manifesto, with Ian Blackford calling the move “supreme cowardice”.

The new policy only commits Labour to backing a new vote if no agreement is reached with the Tories on an alternative Brexit deal including a customs union membership, or if there is no General Election.

READ MORE: Labour agree to a second Brexit referendum policy – with conditions

On Twitter, the SNP’s Westminster leader (pictured below) wrote: “The ability to look both ways at the same time.

"@jeremycorbyn has failed to recognise there is no such thing as a good Brexit. A People’s Vote allows for folk to have a say on the Brexit consequence. A failure to lead is supreme cowardice. Scotland has a choice #It’s time for indy”.

The National:

Blackford added Corbyn had chosen “complicity in the Tories’ plan to remove us from the EU” over bringing an EU referendum closer.

And the First Minister said the policy was proof Labour is a “Brexit-supporting party”.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Problem is a Labour Brexit, just like a Tory Brexit, will hurt Scotland. So if you want to keep Scotland in Europe, and make sure that our voice is heard, vote @theSNP on 23 May.”

Labour’s announcement was made just after 5pm tonight after a day of talks by the party’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), to finalise its stance on a second vote ahead of the poll due to take on May 23.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: Unhappy Labour voters – join a party which supports Europe!

A Labour spokeswoman said: “The NEC agreed the manifesto which will be fully in line with Labour’s existing policy; to support Labour’s alternative plan, and if we can’t get the necessary changes to the Government’s deal, or a General Election, to back the option of a public vote.”

She added: “Labour is the only party which represents both people who supported Leave and Remain. We are working to bring the country together after the chaos and crisis created by the Tories.”

Former Labour Cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw, one of its leading pro-Europeans, believed his party would end up backing a second vote as the two conditions would not materialise.

“1. The Government won’t agree to an “alternative Brexit” & Labour MPs won’t vote for one that isn’t conditional on a #FinalSay public vote, so it won’t happen 2. There won’t be an election cos Tory MPs won’t vote for one. 3. #peoplesvote only thing left. Bingo!,” he tweeted.

And Labour MP Bridget Phillipson, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said her party had “done the bare minimum”.

She continued: “I can only hope it will be enough to secure the support of all those millions of our voters demanding the final say on Brexit.

“The decision of the NEC today reaffirms conference policy and means Labour will have little choice except to back a new public vote on the most likely outcome of this vexed process.”

She added: “The manifesto’s mealy-mouthed wording still maintains the fiction that there is a deal out there that can satisfy all the promises made three years ago, avoid real costs to jobs and living standards, or end the endless crisis around Brexit.

“This means Labour risks demoralising activists, depressing turnout among supporters and decreasing the share of the vote for candidates who – like the overwhelming majority of our party – are fighting for a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal.”

The National:

Today's NEC meeting was understood to be stormy with the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson (pictured above), who was backing clearer support for second vote.

But arriving for the NEC meeting at Labour HQ in London, he played down expectations of fireworks.

Watson said: “We always have lively discussions at the National Executive Committee, but I don’t think there will be a row. These are very serious matters.”

Some 115 MPs and MEPs had written to NEC members urging them to explicitly back a second referendum.