LABOUR leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy has indicated that Nicola Sturgeon should be barred from taking part in UK-wide debates, because the SNP are not a UK-wide party.

Speaking at an event in Glasgow following a visit to the McVitie's biscuit factory on Monday, Nandy stated that it was time to “stop giving the SNP a free ride” when it came to appearances on shows like Question Time.

The MP for Wigan claimed that she did not understand why the First Minister of Scotland, who represents the third largest party in Westminster, was making appearances on the Question Time leader’s debate while the leader of Scottish Labour was not included.

In a video of the event sent exclusively to The National, Nandy can be heard saying: “If Nicola Sturgeon is on a platform – the Question Time leaders' special for example – then I think the leader of Scottish Labour ought to be on that platform.

“I do not understand why we are giving [the SNP and Plaid Cymru] a free ride to slate our reputation in Scotland and Wales while we have to stand on the same platform and speak to the whole of the UK.

"They wanna have a UK-wide debate, fine, they're not in it. They wanna have a Scottish debate, great, we’ll put up our leader thank you, and you can debate with them."

Scottish Labour received less than 19% of the vote share at the recent UK General Election, compared to the SNP who drew support from 45% of voters in Scotland.

Responding to Nandy's comments, SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: "Lisa Nandy is clearly terrified at the prospect of debating Nicola Sturgeon, but whoever becomes the next Labour leader will have to do just that.” 

In the video, Nandy also revealed that Westminster MPs still do not fully understand devolution.

Referring to her time as Shadow Children’s Minister, Nandy recounts how she once tabled a series of amendments on the Children and Families Bill only to receive a phone call from Scotland’s only Labour MP to say that it drove “a coach of horses” through the devolution settlement.

She concludes: “These were just … I thought they were fairly bland amendments about children’s commissioners but they weren’t. They were a potentially a disaster in the making.”

Speaking after the meeting at the Radisson Blu hotel, one source claimed that Nandy’s performance had inspired a former Labour voting friend in attendance to join the SNP on their phone half-way through the event.

Nandy recently caused controversy amongst independence supporting Scots after suggesting that the UK could "look to Catalonia" for insight into dealing with growing support for independence in Scotland.

She later claimed that her comments had been “wilfully distorted”.

Lisa Nandy has been approached for comment.