A SECOND bid to have an alternative route to independence without a referendum debated at the SNP ’s autumn conference is set to fail.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil and senior SNP councillor Chris McEleny submitted a motion to the party’s conference committee, demanding a fallback position if the UK Government refuses to give the Scottish Government the powers to hold a new vote by granting a Section 30 Order.

After the “Plan B” call was rejected, the proposal was resubmitted to party bosses as an amendment to a motion from Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Early Years Minister Maree Todd instead.

But now the motion from Swinney has been dropped from the conference agenda.

McEleny said he believed it had been taken off by “party apparatchiks” to stop the debate from taking place, despite several SNP branches backing the idea.

However an SNP source said: “Members now have a much bigger say in setting the conference agenda, with the 3000 delegates selecting the motions to be debated – not the conferences committee.”

McEleny said: “Ultimately, on one hand it seems we have ordinary party members that thought no matter what position conference ultimately took, at the very least our route to independence was worthy of debate. And on the other hand unaccountable party apparatchiks who have tried everything – even taking the Deputy First Minister’s motion off the agenda – to stop members having a say.

“We are a party who embrace vibrant debate. The Tories don’t want to give Scotland a voice on our future, members would be rightly concerned if it appeared our own party structure was denying them the opportunity to have their say.”

The SNP councillor said they would continue to accept invitations from branches that want to discuss the idea of “Plan B”.

He added that there would be opportunity to raise it each morning of conference as an emergency motion – but expected that would be treated “with the same degree of 

He said: “It is a wider issue I think – if you want people to engage in a political party then you embrace new ideas. If you treat them with contempt, ultimately it is not good for the wider movement.”