AN SNP MP has insisted he is “utterly stumped” after the party rejected his plans for an alternative route to independence.

Angus Brendan MacNeil hit out as it emerged independence is only mentioned in three out of 48 resolutions due to be debated at the SNP’s upcoming October conference.

There is also nothing on the provisional agenda referring to Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to hold a second referendum in late 2020, it has been reported.

Along with SNP Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny, Mr MacNeil submitted proposals which sought to map out a way forward if the UK Government refuses to give Scotland the power to hold another vote.

In this event, the pair said the SNP winning a majority of seats in a Westminster or Holyrood election should be enough to start negotiations over independence.

However, the SNP’s conference committee rejected the motion, amid concerns it was "not without issues of incoherence". 

Speaking to The National, Mr MacNeil, who represents the Western Isles, said the SNP was not “revving up” for independence.

He said: “We’ve certainly removed a club from the bag and the members are playing a game with one club, and any golfer that goes out with one club knows that the terrain changes and we aren’t ready for unexpected changes in the terrain, we don’t have the tools.

“It’s hugely perplexing. I’m just utterly stumped as to what they were thinking about.

“I can’t find a logical reason as to why the SNP wouldn’t want to have a way of outflanking the UK Government, why they want to head straight into the machine guns alone as the only tactic.”

In an email to the two politicians, Angus MacLeod, the SNP’s national secretary, said it was “wholly inappropriate” that they had briefed their plans to the media.

He said the motion appeared to be “hastily written, almost whimsically so, with no apparent consultation across the party”.