THE architects of the original Plan B for independence have called on Nicola Sturgeon to name a 2021 date for a second referendum.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil and councillor Chris McEleny made the request as they revealed they will not try to force their proposal, seeking an alternative route to independence, on to the party’s conference agenda after it was rejected for debate.

But they said they want the party’s leadership “to prove” Plan A will work and will deliver independence.

Last year when the party blocked their Plan B resolution, McEleny attempted to get the issue debated via a procedural protocol but was met with boos from some delegates.

Ahead of that event, party chiefs urged delegates to reject the need for a Plan B because Plan A – a referendum held on agreed terms between the Scottish and UK governments – was working and that the opposition of Boris Johnson would be unsustainable if the SNP won last year’s General Election in Scotland.

However, despite the SNP’s landslide victory, the Prime Minister’s opposition continued and he refused the First Minister’s request for a Section 30 order.

McEleny has now confirmed no such attempt to force the issue on to the agenda will be made at this year’s conference.

He told The National: “I am disappointed that we have again had the attempt to debate the policy blocked. I think there is a substantial section of the party, the wider movement, and indeed the country that support a plan to ensure Boris Johnson doesn’t get to determine whether or not we get to choose our own future.

“I’ve decided that we will not attempt at this year’s conference to force the issue onto the agenda in the manner we did last year. I’ve always been surprised by the amount of effort the party have put in to stop a debate happening.”

He added: “The truth is, if the debate was allowed to happen we would now all be united behind whatever plan we chose was the best plan to bring the country together on a path towards independence and progress for Scotland.

“I’ll be the first person to be delighted if I am proven wrong, and we don’t need a Plan B, because we deliver a referendum after next years Holyrood election. But that’s now the leadership’s job, prove that Plan A is working, not just by pointing to polls but by naming the date of the 2021 referendum, and delivering it before the end of next year so that the people of Scotland can take their future into their own hands.”

MacNeil added: “I support Chris’s view on this – there are obviously some in the party who want to block the membership having a debate and vote on our Plan B, we saw that last year and obviously this year is going the same way. Essentially watching paint dry would be more productive than trying to debate a method for independence at SNP conference”

Last month, the SNP’s conferences committee rejected a proposal put down by MacNeil and McEleny surprising many grassroots activists after the duo believed they had been given a positive signal when drafting their resolution. It backed requesting a Section 30 order as the preferred route, but argued that if this was rejected, Scottish ministers should seek a legal challenge to establish if Holyrood could stage a referendum without the UK Government’s agreement.

Should this second step prove unsuccessful, their proposed motion argued that the May 2021 elections should be a de facto referendum on independence.

A fresh Plan B has now been submitted as an amendment to a resolution on independence which states that the SNP will not accept a Westminster veto. The new alternative proposal by the Common Weal Group calls for a working group to be set up to come up with a strategy of what to do if the UK Government keeps refusing a Section 30 order request.

An SNP spokesman said: “Effective leadership during the global pandemic is proving a real boost to support for an independent Scotland. The SNP will continue to focus on what’s important to the people of Scotland, and our conference agenda is reflective of those priorities.”