JO Swinson was forced to deny “fundamental hypocrisy” over her opposition to indyref2 as she struggled through a radio interview.

The LibDem leader faced severe criticism after members of her party voted overwhelmingly at their conference to cancel Brexit if they win power at Westminster.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Swinson was asked why it was ok for her MPs to cancel Brexit without a second referendum on the issue, but not ok for the SNP to go into a Scottish election promising indyref2.

Programme host Justin Webb said: “When the SNP say that in Scotland, as they do repeatedly at elections, ‘we’ll get another referendum if people vote for us,’ you say to them no, you can’t, you shouldn’t.

“If they go into an election in Scotland – it seems like such a fundamental hypocrisy on your behalf – and say to the Scottish people, ‘we want to have a second referendum campaign and there’s no need for anything except your endorsement at that election,’ it’s the same as you going into an election saying what you’re saying to everyone else.”

READ MORE: LibDem Willie Rennie ‘beyond hypocritical’ on indyref2

The BBC presenter continued: “It’s a principle. It’s not about what the result might be, it’s a point of principle. Either you can overturn a referendum by putting something in your manifesto and getting elected or you can’t.”

He added: “You say in Great Britain you can, but in Scotland, you can’t. It’s simply a different principle for Scotland as it is for the UK.”

Swinson denied this was true, adding the bizarre assertion that the SNP do not promote independence ahead of elections.

She said: “The SNP’s typical playbook is going into elections not mentioning independence, saying to people all sorts of other things they’re voting for. They say it’s not about independence then, after the vote, they claim it as a mandate.”

The LibDem leader was once again challenged by the host, who remarked on the SNP’s support for independence: “The clue is in the name of the party.”

READ MORE: SNP depute leader Keith Brown slams LibDems for new Brexit policy

Swinson continued: “I want our country to thrive, Scotland in the UK and the UK in the EU. The problem right now, which whether it’s a People’s Vote or whether a General Election can resolve, is how to get out of that chaos. What we’re talking about in terms of Scotland is the idea of an independence referendum adding more chaos into an already difficult situation.”

“I’m saying the last thing Scotland needs right now is indyref 2. We’re better off staying together. The United Kingdom is stronger as four nations working together and I think the European Union is stronger as 28 countries working together.

“My general principle of being open and internationalist is about working together with other countries to face common challenged. It’s much more inconsistent for the SNP to want to stay in the EU but out of the UK.”

Kirsty Blackman, the SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster said Swinson was guilty of “utterly grotesque” hypocrisy. The Libdems were, she added, neither liberal nor democratic.

“Her arrogance in thinking she can stand in the way of the electoral verdict of the people of Scotland is appalling – she and Willie Rennie are every bit as anti-democratic as Boris Johnson,” Blackman said.

“It seems she only believes in democracy when it suits her and is happy to ignore the fact that Liberal Democrat supporters across the UK now back a referendum on Scottish independence.”