KATE Forbes has insisted she is committed to the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens amid talk the party could pull out of the deal if she becomes first minister.

The SNP’s policy convener Toni Giugliano suggested the partnership would “inevitably” end if Forbes secured the top job, given she has suggested she would not seek to challenge the UK Government’s block on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and would not have voted for it in its current form.

Gender reforms were a key red line in the agreement and Scottish Green sources have claimed they could pull out if Nicola Sturgeon’s successor is someone who doesn’t agree with the legislation.

But at her leadership campaign launch in Aviemore on Monday, the Finance Secretary said she was committed to the deal.

READ MORE: SNP election: Can MSPs block Kate Forbes from becoming first minister?

Asked what she would say to the Greens after suggestions they could cut ties with the SNP, Forbes said: “I would say over three budgets we were able to negotiate a budget deal because we were pragmatic and trusting in those conversations and that would be the approach I would take to any future discussions with the Greens, respecting their position on things.

“You look at the coalition agreement and you see there were areas where there was agreement and areas which were excluded. I think it’s possible to continue that discussion and that relationship.”

When asked if she was supportive of the deal in place, she confirmed: “Yes.”

It puts her at odds with one of her opponents, Ash Regan, who said the SNP were being "held hostage" by their coalition partners the Greens - indicating she would be relaxed about the prospect of running a minority government.

Meanwhile, her other rival Humza Yousaf said attempting to run an administration without a majority would be a "disaster", in an exclusive interview with the Sunday National, where he backed the Bute House Agreement.   

Forbes was also quizzed on whether she had any concerns about SNP MSPs refusing to vote for her as first minister if she won the contest.

There have been reports some party MSPs may be planning to scupper her victory if it comes to pass, with the Daily Record suggesting there are six SNP politicians at Holyrood who would refuse to follow protocol to give Forbes the keys to Bute House.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes hints at U-turn on pro-independence GERS plan

The SNP leadership election only determines who will be the next SNP leader, but that person does not automatically become first minister. The FM is appointed by MSPs, who vote on their pick.

That means technically any MSP can become FM if they can command majority support in the Parliament.

Forbes currently has the highest level of support from party voters among the candidates - according to polls released in the last few days by The BIG Partnership and Panelbase - but many MSPs and MPs who endorsed her on day one of her campaign quickly U-turned on that following her comments on same sex marriage and having children out of wedlock.

Asked if she was worried about rumours her colleagues could vote against her as FM, she said: “This is an open, democratic contest for members.

“As an elected representative, I have one vote. My friends in the SNP also have one vote and I think we should respect and honour the outcome.”