ALEX Salmond has called on Labour leader Keir Starmer to back Alba MP Ash Regan’s bill for a referendum on the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

The Alba Party agreed to make the demand at a meeting of its National Executive Committee held yesterday.

Salmond said his pro independence party’s drive for the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on whether it should have the powers to negotiate and legislate for independence is supported by most Scots.

The National: Ash Regan insisted that the referendum route is 'dead'

Regan (above), Alba’s Holyrood leader, has put forward a plan that would see the Scottish Parliament hold a referendum on its powers in response to the UK Supreme Court’s decision that it did not have the competence to hold a second independence referendum.

Alba say this combined with treating national elections as providing a mandate for independence offers a democratic route forward for Scotland.

Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner spent the weekend in Scotland attempting to woo independence supporters ahead of this year’s General Election.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer's Labour 'set to ditch plans to abolish House of Lords'

Alba say Starmer’s answer on the bill will make it clear that Labour will be no more likely to recognise Scotland’s right to self determination than the Tories if he refuses to back the plan.

Salmond said: “Sir Keir Starmer thinks he can sweep up votes in Scotland without offering anything to the independence movement purely because the SNP are in decline. Alba’s call for Starmer to back the Scottish Parliament holding a referendum on whether or not it should have the powers to legislate for independence will be a litmus test of whether Starmer’s attitude to Scotland is in fact Tory blue.

“His answer will leave Scots in no doubt as to whether a vote for Labour at the General Election is a vote for change or if it’s a vote for more of the same from the Westminster parties.

“Alba believe that far from being different from the Tories, Labour under Starmer are identical in their attitude to Scotland’s right of self determination.

“They are fundamentally different from Labour under Donald Dewar who signed the Claim of Right on Scotland’s rights as a nation. Under Starmer, the Better Together alliance of Labour and Tory from 2014 continues.

“If Labour want to prove us wrong then they need to back Ash Regan’s Bill, an initiative backed by almost 2-1 by the Scottish people.

A poll commissioned by Alba and carried out by FindOutNow earlier this month asked to what extent participants agreed or disagreed that the Scottish Parliament should have the powers to negotiate for and legislate for independence.

With don’t-knows and those who preferred not to say removed, 39.9% strongly agreed, 17.6% agreed, 9.6% neither agreed nor disagreed and 10.8% disagreed.