A MOTION demanding civic chiefs back a call against a ‘Hard’ Brexit, and pledge support for a ‘People’s Vote’, was due to be debated today– more than two months after it was originally tabled.

Moved by Liberal Democrat councillor Gavin James at Hampshire County Council’s Full Council meeting on November 29, the Basingstoke South East member wanted the authority to support the call for the public to have a final say on the Brexit divorce bill.

But, council leader Roy Perry stepped in to stop it being debated in the chamber, instead using his powers to have it “moved to the executive”, citing that it was not the “right time nor place for this debate”.

This then triggered a vote, with Conservative members siding with their leader to have the issue instead heard at the “next available” cabinet meeting. The vote ended 49 for to 19 against, with three abstentions.

However, emotions soured with Lib Dem members shouting claims of an “unconstitutional” and “cowardly” decision.

Councillor Adrian Collett, member for Yateley East and Blackwater, said during the vote: “I move against this travesty. I am ashamed in this county council.”

Councillor Mike Thornton, member for Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, added: “I am shocked and horrified [by this decision].”

Other Lib Dem members also had their says, with shouts of “farce” and “this is absolutely appalling” thrown at the authority’s front bench.

The cabinet meeting was due to be held at the county council’s offices in Winchester from 10.30am on Friday, which comes just days after MPs voted to block a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit, as part of a series of ballots on amendments to Prime Minister Theresa May’s bill.

Parliament members did however authorise Mrs May to go back to Brussels to try to renegotiate the deal – which EU leaders indicate they won’t allow to happen.

Explaining his decision, Cllr Perry said after the meeting in November: “This motion was simply an effort by the Liberal Democrats to use the county council for their own political purposes.

“There was no point in debating it because it is up to Parliament not Hampshire County Council to determine the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU).

“If the Liberal Democrats want to overturn the result of the referendum that is up to them but the county council has a serious task to do in delivering crucial services not engaging in partisan manoeuvres.”

This decision comes just over a week after Winchester City Council Conservatives prevented a similar motion being put to a vote at the city authority’s Full Council meeting.

This prompted the local Lib Dem’s to blast the Torys following a 23-22 vote to move on the meeting, rather than vote on the motion.