The Conservatives have been accused of hypocrisy by Alex Salmond after the former First Minister claimed the party lobbied him to vote on an issue now deemed 'England only.'

Mr Salmond said the Tories had tried to persuade SNP MPs to vote on a planned hike in English university charges 10 years ago, by pointing out the impact it would have on Scotland.

Scot MPs will be barred on votes on tuition fees south of the Border under so-called English Votes for English laws (evel).

Mr Salmond's claim came as opposition MPs lined up to attack plans to rush through beefed up evel proposals.

The government humiliatingly lost a vote on its methods, 291-2.

The 2004 tuition fees rise was one of the most controversial moments of Tony Blair's premiership.

In the end Labour won a crunch vote on the policy, but only with the backing of Scottish Labour MPs.

The resulting accusation that Blair had relied on votes from MPs whose constituents would be unaffected fuelled calls for evel south of the border.

The Tories and the Liberal Democrats had both opposed the fee rise and came within a whisker of inflicting a defeat on Labour, while the SNP abstained.

But Mr Salmond told Chris Grayling, the Conservative leader of the House, that his party had tried to win SNP votes.

"I was lobbied by the then Conservative opposition and by Labour rebels, who told me that the Scottish National party should vote against that proposal on the basis that top-up fees for English students would have a knock-on effect on Scotland through the Barnett formula," he said.

"Why has the Conservative party changed its mind (on Scots MPs voting)?" he asked.

In response, Mr Grayling said it was wrong that the rise was carried "only as a result of Scottish votes, but did not apply to students in Scotland".

He denied that the proposals were designed to increase the Conservative's majority of just 12 in the House of Commons.

Evel would "strengthen the union", he said, by treating English voters more fairly.

SNP, Labour and Lib Dem MPs lined up to accuse the Conservatives of attempted gerrymandering and creating an English parliament by the back door.

Ed Miliband denounced the plans as "constitutional vandalism".

The former Labour leader added that evel had "turned out it was a useful weapon at the General Election" adding that the cause of unionism "has been going pretty badly" since last year's independence referendum.

Alistair Carmichael, who secured the debate, accused the Tory frontbench of "English nationalism".

He warned Tory MPs would find it "difficult" to argue that Scots were an equal part of the Union if the proceeded with evel.

The party's attempt "to create a English Parliament within the UK Parliament is a real threat to the UK", he told MPs.

The row comes a week after minsters unveiled new beefed-up plans for evel.

Included was a new right of veto that would allow English MPs, or occasionally English and Welsh MPs, a veto over laws 'only' affecting England.

Also new was a proposal for an unprecedented "double majority" of both English and UK MPs on certain votes.

The reforms would see the Speaker, John Bercow, effectively decide what counts as "England-only", although Mr Grayling indicated that his hands would effectively be tied by a government definition that included anything devolved, such as health and education.

MPs will vote on the issue next Wednesday in what could be the first real test of David Cameron's Commons majority.

Most Tory MPs support the move, with one, Andrew Bridgen, accusing opposition MPs of wanting to "have your porridge and eating it".

But other Tory backbenchers were among those who expressed concerns.

Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough, said the issued should be debated all night, not just for a few hours, because of its importance.

Another, Sir Edward Leigh, warned the government had to be seen to act in a "very fair way"

Labour MP Emily Thornberry accused ministers of "lighting the blue touch paper on the Union".

She called on ministers to "take time, take care and reflect".

The SNP's Pete Wishart called the measure "English votes for Scottish laws", because of the effect much legislation has north of the border.

He also appeared to call for federalism within the UK as a solution.

Grayling insisted that all MPs would remain equal under the proposed system.