Humza Yousaf warns against ending deal between SNP and Greens amid call for rethinking

The war of words came as Kate Forbes insisted that strengthening the economic case for independence would support the Yes movement – as candidates vying for leadership of the SNP clashed over their strategy to launch a new currency.

The row arose after Greens were reportedly uncomfortable working with Ms Regan or Ms Forbes, who do not support gender recognition reforms.

Ms Regan said whether a collaboration agreement should go ahead is “a conversation to have with our green partners in a mature, grown-up way”.

She added: “There are obviously areas where we are very closely aligned with the Greens on some things, but there are other areas where we are not so aligned.

“We’ve had this agreement for a couple of years now and I’m wondering if maybe this is something SNP members overall would like to discuss to see how it works for everyone.”

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon denies SNP split in civil war after Mhairi Black warning

But Mr Yousaf insisted it “would be madness for any SNP leader to even consider” ending the deal with the Greens.

He added: “Can you imagine the first act of a new SNP First Minister being to tear up a deal with our green partners?

“They would have to rely on Douglas Ross or Anas Sarwar to pass our budget.

“It’s not up to a new leader to come in and undo a Bute House agreement that 95 percent of our members have agreed to.”

Asked if she will continue to lead the government in partnership with the Greens, Ms Forbes warned that “we need to see more growth” in the economy.

She added: “I would like to continue working with the Greens.”

Ms Forbes told party members in Edinburgh that the “stakes could not be higher” if Scotland left the Union.

Despite an attack on Scottish Government records earlier this week, Ms Forbes told party members that on decentralization the Scottish Government has “made it work for 15 years”.

Read more: SNP leadership contest is ‘chance to reset’ for gender reform law

She added: “I am convinced that we can convince more people to support independence. It will take someone who can bridge the gap.”

Asked what the SNP and the broader Yes movement need to do to persuade No voters to support independence, Ms Forbes suggested the economics of separation needed to be clearer.

She said: “The fault line runs along the economic argument.

“We need an answer to the entire infrastructure of the economy.”

Mr Yousaf, Ms Sturgeon’s health secretary, also jumped to the defense of his government.

He told the Hustings that “we have achieved so much as a government”.

He added: “Our record is good. I am proud to be part of the SNP government.”

Addressing the blueprint for growing support for independence, Mr Yousaf told party members that “we need to inspire people”.

He added: “If we expand this consistent majority support for independence, independence will become inevitable.”

But Mr Yousaf attacked his rivals, who have questioned whether the Scottish Government should fight the UK Government’s decision to block gender recognition reforms through a Section 35 order.

Mr Yousaf told activists that “it is imperative for the next first minister to fight the Section 35 order”.

READ ALSO: Regan Defends Plan To Collaborate With Convicted Perjurer Sheridan On Indy

He added: “If the new first minister’s first act is to cave in, they will come bill for bill and we simply cannot allow that to happen.”

Ms Regan told party activists that the SNP needed a more aggressive strategy to achieve independence and insisted “we don’t need to get Westminster’s permission” for a split.

She claimed that “not many countries have gained independence through referendums” and called for a “permanent mechanism” that would “return that power to the Scottish people”.

She added that we are “one election away from Scotland choosing to govern itself”.

Ms Regan previously raised eyebrows after claiming an independent Scotland could adopt its own currency within months of leaving the Union.

She told activists in the capital that it was important to “normalize this idea,” adding that “switching to another currency is normal.”

Ms Regan stressed that a strategy consisting of holding the pound would be a “mad experiment for the Scottish economy”.

Mr Yousaf said that “Scotland should have its own currency” but insisted “we have to work our way through a transition”.

He added: “We have to be absolutely credible in what we are proposing in terms of currency.”

Ms Forbes also backed Scotland’s own currency, but only “at the right time”.

She added: “The most important thing in the first days of independence is a stable economy.” Humza Yousaf warns against ending deal between SNP and Greens amid call for rethinking

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