THE chief of the Growth Commission has said a virtual conference to decide if the SNP should adopt a “Plan B” approach on independence should go ahead.

Andrew Wilson told his Twitter followers it is time to "unite the party behind the best route to unite the country behind progress".

He was responding to a tweet by SNP MP Angus MacNeil, who came up with the plan along with SNP councillor Chris McEleny.

MacNeil tweeted: "I welcome wise idea of SNP virtual conference to let us thrash out pros and cons of independence approaches and fall back plans. #ScotRef"

MacNeil and McEleny want the manifesto for next year’s Holyrood elections to include a pledge that winning a pro-independence majority would be grounds to start negotiations with Westminster for Scotland to leave the UK

The pair had hoped their alternative approach would be discussed at the SNP conference in June – but the event was cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They say the issue should be debated at a virtual conference, with SNP members given an online vote on whether the party should adopt this stance in next May’s Scottish Parliament election.

READ MORE: SNP chiefs urged to use virtual conference to vote on independence Plan B

McEleny, leader of the SNP group on Inverclyde Council, said: “If we are now able to go for a picnic, play golf or go to bowling greens, then we should be able to talk about Scotland’s future.”

Both McEleny and MacNeil have been arguing an alternative approach is needed after first Theresa May and then Boris Johnson turned down Section 30 requests from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for power to be transferred to Scotland for a second vote on independence to be held.