A SENIOR SNP MP has encouraged Westminster to launch an inquiry into Russian meddling in the independence and European referendums.

Stewart McDonald, the party’s defence spokesman, said that any inquiry was “something only the United Kingdom Government can do” and added that he would be supportive of it.

His comments came during a debate about the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report into interference by Russia in UK democracy.

The Glasgow South MP said: “The issues it raises in relation to actively looking the other way on interference in the Brexit referendum needs to be addressed objectively by both Government and the Opposition.

“That also applies to what the report has to say about the Scottish referendum. So let us have the inquiry into Brexit and the 2014 referendum campaign; let us bring that forward, and be clear that that is something only the United Kingdom Government can do, and if they do, the minister will have my support in that.”

Labour’s defence spokesman Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “I opened the discussion having tabled an urgent question about it in the House of Commons.

He said: “It is not so much that the Government studied what was happening and missed the signs. The truth is that they took a conscious decision not to look at all, as in the case of the 2016 referendum.

“We have no issue with the Russian people. It is the Russian state that is involved in a litany of hostile activity, cyber-warfare, interference in democratic processes, illicit finance and acts of violence on UK soil.

Jo Gideon, Conservative MP later said the SNP should “explain what it knew about the issue and when” and claimed “Scotland and the independence referendum are at the centre of the allegations”

The final Prime Minster’s Questions of the term was also taken over by the Russia report, with Boris Johnson saying ‘elite Remainers’ should ‘simply move on’.

Leader of the opposition Keir Starmer challenged the PM over his failings in tackling Russian interference with UK democratic processes in the lead up to the Brexit referendum.

However the Prime Minister denied his government had done anything wrong, and said Mr Starmer could not “bring himself to accept” the voters’ decision to leave the EU.

He said: “This government is bringing forward legislation not only a new Espionage Act, not only new laws to protect against theft of intellectual property, but also a Magnitsky act directly to counter individuals in Russia or elsewhere, who transgress human right...

“This is about pressure from Remainers, who have seized on this report. They try to give the impression that Russian interference was somehow responsible for Brexit.

“The simple fact is that after campaigning for Remain, wanting to overturn the people’s referendum, he simply can’t bring himself to accept that. “

Mr Starmer responded, accusing the Prime Minister of sitting on the report for 10 months,

He said Mr Johnson had “failed to plug that gap in our national security for a year and a half” adding: “One of the starkest conclusion is that the UK is clearly a target for Russian disinformation campaigns...this has been met with a fragmented response across Whitehall and the government.

“The report refers to this as a ‘hot potato’ with no one organisation recognising itself as having the overall lead as a serious gap in our defences.

“This is not about power, it’s about responsibility.”

Mr Johnson lashed out further at those who did not want to leave the EU in response to a question from Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP.

Mr Bradshaw said the PM had tried to “fix” the Intelligence and Security Committee membership, and had put his own interests before national security, to which the Prime Minister replied: “I’m afraid what you have here is the the rage and fury of the Remainer elite that there is in fact nothing in this report, no smoking gun.

“After all that froth and fury, suddenly all those who want to remain in the EU find that they have no argument to stand on and I regret that they should simply move on.”