Humza Yousaf: Deal with Scottish Greens will continue until 2026
First Minister Humza Yousaf has said the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens will continue despite calls to end it.
There has been growing pressure on the agreement after former SNP ministers including Kate Forbes and Fergus Ewing called for party members to be given a vote on whether it should continue.
Speaking to the Holyrood Sources podcast, Yousaf said the public wanted political parties to work together and said the Greens had pushed his party “further on certain issues”.
Last week, Forbes, who stood against Yousaf in the recent SNP leadership race, said the party should “check in” with members at its conference in October about whether to continue the agreement.
Asked about that, Yousaf said: “We’ve just checked in – we’ve just had a leadership contest. We’ve just checked in with members on the Bute House Agreement and they backed me as the candidate who unequivocally stood on a platform to continue that cooperation agreement.
“For me, parties that navel-gaze rightly get punished. We’ve put this to the members, we have an agreement in place. For me, I know it’s a cooperation agreement that’s backed by our party.”
Yousaf said he didn’t think the issue would be discussed at the party’s conference, but added that it was not for him to decide.
Asked about the Scottish Green’s influence on his government, he said: “I believe that they absolutely have influence. They push us to go further on certain issues. Further than perhaps we’ve committed to in our manifesto.
“People want to see political parties work together – we have this cooperation agreement, we were voted in as a minority government…therefore the message is that you should cooperate with other political parties to progress your political agenda.”
Yousaf said Green co-leader Lorna Slater, who was criticised for her handling of the deposit return scheme, had faced “a lot of misogyny”. He described her as “hard-working”, “diligent” and “compassionate”.