THE SNP have called for work to be undertaken towards a “fairer, greener and independent” Scotland as MSPs return today after the summer recess.

The First Minister normally unveils her programme for government on the first Tuesday following the break, but her announcement on forthcoming legislative plans will take place next week instead.

The big parliamentary event was delayed to finalise work on the deal with the Scottish Greens and the formal appointment this afternoon of the party’s two co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater as junior ministers.

SNP MSP Neil Gray said: “The new parliamentary session may be in its infancy but our return from summer recess presents an opportunity to build a fairer, greener and independent Scotland.

“As we recover from the pandemic, Scotland has the opportunity to recalibrate and chart a different path from the one set out by the Tories at Westminster.

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“Already the SNP has set out to collaborate across the Holyrood chamber by signing an historic agreement with the Scottish Greens.

“In that same spirit, and while there will continue to be deeply-held differences on some issues, all parties in parliament should look to find consensus for the common good as we seek to build recovery in Scotland.”

He added: “Our Scottish Parliament was built on the founding principles of working together and collaborating and we should all come together for the future of Scotland. As we recover from the pandemic we can focus on creating good, green jobs to support our just transition. We can build a social security system that is built for the people of Scotland, not against them. And we can give the people of Scotland a choice over their future in an independence referendum.”

The First Minister is expected to unveil plans to hold an independence referendum on the condition the pandemic is over when she unveils her programme for government next week.