A WESTMINSTER bid to give Holyrood the power to legislate for a Scottish independence referendum has failed.

Alba’s Neale Hanvey, the party’s group leader at Westminster, had proposed a Scotland (Self-Determination) Bill, which looked to amend the Scotland Act 1998 to transfer the power to hold an independence vote to the Scottish Parliament.

Hanvey (below) used the London parliament’s 10-minute rule – which allows a backbench MP to make the case for a new bill in a speech lasting up to 10 minutes – to argue for his proposition on Tuesday.

The National: Alba MP Neale Hanvey has published criticism by a legal expert of the Supreme Court's independence

He was opposed by LibDem MP Christine Jardine.

The House divided after the two MPs’ speeches and went to a vote. Deputy speaker Rosie Winterton announced that the bill would not move forward after the proposal was defeated by 228 votes to 48.

The division list showed 38 SNP MPs and Conservative Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering, were among the MPs to support Hanvey’s bid.

But 57 Tory MPs, 147 Labour and 13 Lib Dems were among those to oppose it.

Ahead of the vote, Alba said the bill was being backed by SNP MPs Joanna Cherry, Douglas Chapman, and Carol Monaghan, independent MPs Angus MacNeil and Jonathan Edwards, and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.

Speaking in Parliament, Hanvey pointed to pledges made in the aftermath of the 2014 independence referendum, saying: “The all-party Smith Commission agreement was signed by all of Scotland’s main political parties: SNP, Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrats

“It stated: ‘It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.’

“While each have failed to deliver on that commitment, this bill provides a necessarily equitable and democratic mechanism for the people of Scotland.”

Hanvey added: “Should members of this chamber deny Scotland her legitimate claim on self-determination then it will have put beyond doubt that the voice of the people of Scotland is not welcome in this place and a new approach must be considered."

The National: Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine

Responding to Hanvey’s speech in the Commons chamber, LibDem Jardine (above) said: “I do fundamentally agree that the United Kingdom needs to change and I do agree that the people of Scotland deserve incremental increases in power. But that is because I believe in a federal United Kingdom. I have said so on numerous occasions and will continue to do so.

“I would also point out that in the past 45 years there have been three referendums on Scottish political future, the Scottish people's future, and the state of the constitution.

“Every single one of them was facilitated by the United Kingdom Government and on every occasion the Scottish people have benefited.”