MSPs would face the “wrath” of the Scottish people if they refused to install a first minister after the SNP leadership election concludes, Kate Forbes has said.

The Finance Secretary was responding to claims made by fellow contender Humza Yousaf that scrapping the Bute House agreement with the Scottish Greens could lead to Forbes or Ash Regan struggling to be appointed by the whole parliament.

At the Aberdeen hustings on Sunday afternoon, Yousaf hinted that if either Regan or Forbes win they may have to rely on support from the Tories and Douglas Ross, or Scottish Labour and Anas Sarwar, in order to pass legislation without the pro-independence majority in place.

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Throughout the leadership election, Forbes's and Regan’s stances against Scotland’s gender reforms have prompted rumours that the co-operation agreement with the Scottish Greens, introduced by Nicola Sturgeon in August 2021, could fall if either win the contest.

Speaking to SNP members on Sunday night, Yousaf said: “If we go in there and demand that we unpick the deal, I am telling you what the response from the Greens is likely to be.

“And then you have to remember the very first thing we have to do is on Monday 27, you will know who your next ... party leader is.

“On the Tuesday, the parliament will have to vote for them. If you boot out the Greens - good luck. Good luck on getting yourself nominated as first minister."

The National: Forbes said MSPs would feel the 'wrath' of the Scottish people if they refused to install her as FMForbes said MSPs would feel the 'wrath' of the Scottish people if they refused to install her as FM (Image: PA)

At a campaign event in Glasgow city centre on Monday morning, Forbes was asked what she would do if the Greens attempted to block her becoming FM.

She said: “Well, I mean, it's for other parties to determine what they do, but I think they would earn the wrath of the Scottish people if they stood in the way of a new first minister getting to grips with the big issues that face the people of Scotland.

“I mean, the people of Scotland, I think would get pretty cheesed off, pretty fed up, if in the grip of cost of living crisis when waiting times in our NHS are too long, that they're seeing politicians playing games and not getting behind the new first minister.”

Forbes added that she believes the parliament and MSPs are “ultimately accountable to the people of Scotland”.

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She added: “We're accountable to our communities. We know their priorities.

“All the polling demonstrates what their priorities are. I think they want to find someone who get on with the act of governing and delivering results on these core issues.”

Forbes was asked if she believed Yousaf was scaremongering, or if she believed there was truth to what he was saying regarding the Scottish Greens, or if she believed they were unhappy with some of her policies, on the economy and equalities issues.

She added: “Well, I mean, it's not for me to speak for other parties. I can only speak for the SNP.

“And I know that SNP members who are elected are accountable to members of the SNP as well as accountable to the public.

“I will be honouring and respecting the outcome of this democratic process, whichever way it goes.

“And I think the expectation on other SNP members, elected members, is to do the same.”