PATRICK Harvie’s 11-year-reign as a chief of the Scottish Greens faces a challenge from the grassroots following last month’s disastrous election results.

The party is holding elections for a raft of new positions next month, including the new co-leader post.

Like the current co-convenor role it replaces, the job will be shared by two people, one of whom, or both, must be a woman.

Five candidates are after the two vacancies: Harvie, his current co-convenor Maggie Chapman, Aberdonian activist Guy Ingerson, North Lanarkshire-based campaigner Graham Kerr, and former Edinburgh council candidate Lorna Slater.

The party is also looking for executive co-chairs, national council co-convenors and co-convenors for seven national committees.

The National:

Shortly before nominations closed last Friday, a group of activists unveiled the Green Future Group, a slate of candidates for other key party roles, all “standing on a common platform” operating much like Momentum does within Labour.

In a statement to mark their launch the GFG said the party’s shocking election results were “a wake-up call for the Scottish Greens”. They believe the party needs to prioritise a Green new deal, “eco-socialism” and independence.

Harvie said he’d been proud to serve the party and that he thought it vital “that our MSP team remains part of the leadership group within the party as we work to get the whole party ready for the next big test in 2021”.

He added: “At the same time it’s great to see so many members, like those in the Green Futures Group, coming forward to stand in our internal election.”

Chapman told the Sunday National: “I have the vision, profile and experience to lead Scotland towards sustainability and social justice, and create the fair, peaceful world we need.”

Ingerson said he was the David to take on Harvie's Goliath: “I’m a young, working-class guy from Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, versus a long established MSP who has been our de facto co-leader for just over 10 years, but if there was ever a time for change and someone like me to co-lead our party ... it would be now.”

Slater said it was time for the Greens to have “a new public face who is a confident media performer and who is hands-on involved with members. The new co-leader needs to be the link between the members of the party and the public and so needs to connect with both”.

Kerr, who lost out to Harvie at the last leadership contest in 2017, said: “People from all over Scotland will benefit from stronger green presence in all levels of government, however at the moment in some areas and with some groups of people we haven’t managed to get that message across.”

Voting opens on Wednesday and runs until July 26.