TWO dozen SNP MSPs who publicly backed the Evening Times Opt for Life campaign have voted to kill the Transplantation Bill off at the first stage.

Many of the MSPs were not even present during the 90 minute debate as 11 of their colleagues stuck to their principles and spoke in favour and voted to continue with the Bill.

In 2011, Humza Yousaf, Glasgow SNP MSP, lodged a motion endorsing the campaign and stating the belief that a presumed consent system would “greatly increase the availability of donor organs” backed by 56 MSPs.

But when it came to a vote on the general principles, 24 SNP MSPs, including Mr Yousaf and Public Health Minister, Maureen Watt, voted against those principles.

The Government narrowly won the vote on its amendment by just three votes with the support of the Tories, with all 11 of its MSPs present voting against the Bill.

Ms Watt had argued not against the principle of opt out but details in the bill and rejected calls to propose amendments at stage 2.

Ms Watt said: “Scottish Government and experts in the field have significant concerns. We will be introducing a Bill in 2017.

“We must consult to make sure the potential legal and ethical implications have been thought through. We have to get it right for every donor and every recipient.”

Nanette Milne, Tory MSP, said she was concerned about proxies, who a person could nominate to express their wish after death.

She was also concerned about Authorised Investigation Person, a health professional who would ensure it was lawful for organ donation to proceed after passing three strict tests.

MSPs who signed the Opt Out motion but voted against the Bill are: George Adam, Clare Adamson, Colin Beattie, Marco Biagi, Chic Brodie, Margaret Burgess, Graeme Dey, Nigel Don, James Dornan, Joe Fitzpatrick, Rob Gibson, Jamie Hepburn, Adam Ingram, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Gordon MacDonald, Mike McKenzie, Mark McDonald, Aileen MacLeod, Fiona McLeod, Stuart McMillan, Maureen Watt, Paul wheelhouse and Humza Yousaf (all SNP).

MSPs who backed the motion and voted for the bill: Patrick Harvie, Alison Johnstone (Greens). Christina McKelvie, Kenneth Gibson, Kevin Stewart, John Mason, Rod Campbell, Stewart Maxwell, Gil Paterson, Denis Robertson (SNP). Drew Smith, Kezia Dugdale, Jackie Baillie, Patricia Ferguson, Jenny Marra, Elaine Murray, , Graeme Pearson, Mark Griffin, Margaret MacDougall, Ken Macintosh, Richard Simpson, , Margaret McCulloch (Labour). Liam McArthur (LibDem) and John Finnie (ind)