THE SNP has been accused of trying to airbrush history after omitting Nicola Sturgeon’s fateful decision to call a second referendum from its review of the year.

The party’s look back at the main political events of 2016/17 contains no mention of the First Minister demanding another vote, or her later decision to postpone it beyond Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon’s decision energised her Unionist rivals and proved to be a key factor in the SNP suffering its worst electoral reverse in 40 years in the snap election in June.

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The party lost one-third of its seats, falling from 56 to 45, and half a million votes, although still emerged as the largest party overall in Scotland.

Alex Salmond, who lost his Gordon seat to the largest Tory surge in the UK at the election, last week admitted the timing was “completely wrong” for the SNP, although he said it was not Ms Sturgeon’s fault for failing to see Theresa May would act out of character.

The review of 2016/17, which is produced by Ms Sturgeon’s husband, SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, came out on Thursday alongside the SNP’s accounts.

In 2015/16, its “review of political activities” contained a lengthy account of the SNP’s success and exact vote tally in the Holyrood election of 2016.

There was also a graph of the party’s upward trajectory at recent UK and Scottish elections.

However the review of 2016/17 is a mere six paragraphs, half on the May’s local election and half on the general election.

There is no mention of the slump in the SNP’s vote share in June, no graph, or any explanation for the change in the party’s fortunes.

However it does say the SNP “lost many excellent parliamentarians including Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond”.

Most striking of all, there is no mention of Ms Sturgeon’s Bute House announcement on March 13 that she intended to hold a second referendum by spring 2019 to give people a chance to choose independence instead of Brexit.

Indeed, unlike 2015/16, Ms Sturgeon is almost entirely absent from the review of political activities - the only reference to her is an obligatory one as the leader of the party.

Ms Sturgeon was also missing from the SNP manifesto cover in June - only the second time in 20 years the party’s leader was not given pride of place.

It coincided with a poll showing Ms Sturgeon was the least popular leader at Holyrood.

Tory MSP Mile Briggs said: “The SNP’s reckless demand for a second independence referendum was such a flop, Nicola Sturgeon has now tried to airbrush it from history.

“Unfortunately for her, people will not forget how she tried to use Brexit to push ahead with a divisive referendum vote. She should now do the decent thing: not just take it out of SNP literature, but take it off the table for good.”

An SNP insider said many activists and former staff and politicians would be angry that a decision with such profound effects for the SNP had been glossed over.

“To be blunt, that decision cost a lot of people their jobs - councillors, MPs and staff. There was a political price to pay for it. To fail to acknowledge that is just not right,” the source said.

A spokesman for the SNP said: “We’ll leave the Tories to snipe from the sidelines, while we get on with the job of standing up for Scotland and working to avoid the calamity of a job-destroying extreme Brexit.”