KATE Forbes has said she would “like to get to the end” of the leadership contest as she reaffirmed her confidence in the voting process.

The Finance Secretary admitted the events of the last few days, including a row over membership numbers and the resignation of Peter Murrell, have “hurt” members including herself.

However, she said she was “very confident” in the party’s ability to run the election properly.

She added “change” was needed in the SNP and that this should be based on “fundamental principles of honesty, competence, transparency and accountability”.

READ MORE: Neil Gray: SNP members should trust leadership contest process

Asked whether she would like the leadership contest to be rerun, Forbes said: “Personally, no. I personally would like us to get to the end which is next week.”

Forbes was then asked about her own calls for independent auditors to oversee the race and it was suggested by the host that she had u-turned on her position because of Murrell’s resignation.

She said: “On the contrary, if you see what I said last week and I said quite clearly and have done since the beginning that I have honesty, I have trust in the process but I’m very conscious that other people didn’t.

“My call last week was for something that’s fairly standard practice which is to have an independent third party auditor to give that confidence and trust because what we really need to do is to get round whoever wins and have confidence in them as the new leader and that still remains my position.

“Whoever becomes leader has got to rebuild the team, ensure that there is competence, confidence, transparency at the heart and ensure that we focus on the next election which is next year.”

Reports last week suggested that Ash Regan’s teams were looking into ways of pausing the SNP leadership contest.

Forbes added: “Well the responsibility for delivering a fair and transparent election lies with the party not with the candidates and I obviously will accept whatever decision the party makes.”

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The Finance Secretary was also asked if she had access to figures about the numbers who have voted and how well the candidates are faring so far.

She said: “I’ve had no access to any figures at all and obviously that’s why the membership figures were so key and why we’ve been asking for the membership figures from the very beginning and I’m glad now that the party has confirmed the membership figures so we know the size of the electorate but I’ve had no additional information than that.”