Glasgow's ruling Labour administration was last night accused of "guillotining" free speech, after a specially convened meeting to debate opposition motions was cut short after just 10 minutes.

Labour hit back, claiming none of the Nationalist motions were of pressing concern and its priorities were "running the city not taking part in a debating society".

The SNP group had called the meeting on the back of growing criticism of the length of time set aside for full council meetings, which they said did not allow sufficient time to debate their motions.

They said within the past three full meetings only one of their nine proposed motions was debated compared with six of Labour's seven.

Within 10 minutes of the meeting opening, Labour's business manager Aileen Colleran moved to close the meeting and was supported by 37 party colleagues to defeat the combined SNP, Green and Conservative opposition of 25 votes. The four LibDems didn't vote.

John Mason, the SNP group leader, said: "The Labour administration showed their contempt for free speech in the city of Glasgow. It's important, when so much of what the council does is dominated by Labour, that opposition parties are given time for real democratic debate."

But Ms Colleran said the SNP had refused to discuss the extension of full council meetings in the cross-party business bureau, accusing the opposition of inflexibility.

She added: "The full council is not a debating society. We have to run a city, not sit on our backsides discussing matters with wannabe parliamentarians."