Almost half of Jeremy Corbyn’s Scottish MPs defied him to back a second EU referendum, underlining splits in the party over Brexit

Three of the seven Scottish Labour MPs – Ged Killen of Rutherglen, Ian Murray of Edinburgh South, and Martin Whitfield of East Lothian – voted for an amendment tabled by Independent MP Sarah Wollaston.

The SNP, who also backed the amendment, said the four Scottish Labour MPs who failed to back a People’s Vote had let the country down.

Labour had issued a three-line whip for its MPs to abstain on the vote, which would have instructed the Prime Minister to delay Brexit long enough to hold a People’s Vote.

In the end, after even the People’s Vote campaign urged MPs to reject it in case it hurt their cause by pressing the issue too soon, MPs voted against it by 334 votes to 85.

It was backed by 25 Labour MPs, the SNP, the Independent Group, the LibDems, Plaid Cymru and Green Caroline Lucas. Every Tory opposed it.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said it had been an opportunity to drive forward the need for such a vote, but Labour had “flunked it”. 

He tweeted: “They are the midwives to Theresa May’s Brexit. Absolutely spineless.”

His deputy Kirsty Blackman said: “Yet again, Labour and the Tories have proven they cannot be trusted to stand up for Scotland.

“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU - but Labour and Tory MPs have chosen to completely ignore the wishes of the people of Scotland, by voting to block a second EU referendum and drag Scotland out of the EU against our will.

“We know that any form of Brexit would be deeply damaging for Scotland - inflicting lasting harm on jobs, living standards, public services and the economy.Westminster is failing Scotland and it is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect our interests is with independence.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has said he wants a Labour Brexit rather than a People’s Vote, despite the 62-38 vote for Remain in Scotland.

Mr Murray said: “While I accept that this particular amendment did not truly test the will of the Commons for a people’s vote, it remains disappointing that Labour MPs were instructed to abstain on this vital issue. The amendment was forced down due to Labour frontbench equivocation on a public vote this week.

“I urge the Labour leadership to now fully get behind the Kyle-Wilson compromise that could give voters a final say between the Prime Minister’s deal and remaining in the EU.

“It is also incumbent on the SNP to work on a genuine cross-party basis and stop insisting on a divisive second independence referendum as part of this process, which risks bringing the compromise down.

Parliament has averted disaster in the short term, and MPs across the House must now work together to secure the winning majority needed to deliver the only credible solution to this mess - giving the people the final say.”  

Independent Anna Soubry said: “This is a betrayal of Labour Party members and voters, Labour MPs, Labour’s conference policy and, most importantly, the British public. The Labour leadership are determined to deliver Brexit, which would harm our country.” 

Paul Masteron, the Scottish Tory MP for East Renfrewshire, who quit his junior government post after voting against Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, said the Government had no was lurching from day to day without any long-term strategy.

He told Channel 4 News: “There’s a real problem here [in that] the government just seems to be trying to get through day-to-day. All it’s seeing is the next immediate vote, how do we get through that – a complete absence of a longer-term strategy Often you’re only storing up more problems for three days, a week later. I think that’s what we’re seeing.”