UK

Alex Salmond urges Humza Yousaf to end power sharing deal with Scottish Greens

Humza Yousaf has been advised to end the coalition deal with the Scottish Greens, which brough Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater into government. (Jane Barlow/PA)
Humza Yousaf has been advised to end the coalition deal with the Scottish Greens, which brough Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater into government. (Jane Barlow/PA) Humza Yousaf has been advised to end the coalition deal with the Scottish Greens, which brough Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater into government. (Jane Barlow/PA)

First Minister Humza Yousaf has been advised to ditch the SNP’s coalition with the Greens, with Alex Salmond accusing the junior members of the Scottish Government of making “fundamentally stupid” comments.

Mr Salmond criticised the Scottish Greens over their support for moves to fit more homes in Scotland with heat pumps instead of gas boilers, saying this would “not be a great idea in Scotland”.

And the former first minister claimed while the Greens have just two members of the Scottish Government – with co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater both having been made ministers – they created “an awful lot more” of the problems it faced.

Former first minister Alex Salmond said the SNP’s deal with the Greens was ‘causing difficulties’ (Jane Barlow/PA) (Jane Barlow/PA)

Speaking at Iain Dale All Talk at the Edinburgh Fringe, Mr Salmond said: “Hopefully Humza Yousaf is going to sort out the governmental difficulties of the Scottish National Party.

“If he were to take my advice, I would start by ending the coalition with the Green Party.”

He said the power sharing deal, agreed in the wake of the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021, was “causing difficulties”.

Mr Salmond highlighted the controversy around the “bottle scheme”, which saw the Scottish Government forced to postpone plans to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks cans and bottles, and criticised Mr Harvie for “making everybody have a ground heat pump, which would not be a great idea in Scotland”.

He insisted that the SNP could still govern “coherently” at Holyrood without a majority, saying the party had done this between 2007 and 2011 when he was first minister.

Mr Salmond, who now leads the rival pro-independence Alba Party, insisted: “There is no reason on earth why the Scottish National Party with 64 members of the Scottish Parliament of 129 can not be governing coherently and co-operatively as a political party.”

He added: “It’s not a matter for me, but I think if Humza Yousaf were to think about things, and think about recent difficulties in the administration, then given the Greens have only two ministers, which is only about 10% of the government, they supply an awful lot more than 10% of the problems.”