ASH Regan has congratulated Humza Yousaf on his victory over her in the SNP leadership contest.

Regan was only able to attract 11.1% of the vote in the first round and was then eliminated from the contest, with her second preferences votes redistributed.

She described the contest as "lively" and said she would back Yousaf as leader of the party.

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The former communtiy safety minister also encouraged members to unite and get behind "Team SNP".

She tweeted: "Congratulations to new @theSNP Leader, @HumzaYousaf.

"It was a lively contest, I wish him well and I back him as he leads our party - and I would encourage everyone to get behind Team SNP."

Her team added in a statement: "Although Ash has been critical of Humza as the continuity candidate during the leadership race, she acknowledges the need for the party to unite under his leadership to address the pressing issues facing Scotland.

"In light of the challenges the SNP faces, Ash Regan calls on party members to rally behind Humza Yousaf while remaining steadfast in ensuring the best of the SNP becomes the only continuity. She emphasises the importance of integrity becoming a central focus of the new leader's agenda, enabling the party to move forward in a stronger and more united manner.

"Ash Regan believes that while unity is essential, the party must also engage in open and honest discussions about its policies and future direction. She urges Humza Yousaf to create an inclusive environment where all party members voices are heard and valued, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability.

"As the SNP progresses under Humza Yousaf's leadership, Ash Regan and her team remain committed to supporting the party in advancing the cause of Scottish independence and addressing the crucial issues of the NHS crisis, cost of living, and promoting social justice in Scotland.

"Ash Regan is confident that with unity, steadfastness, and a focus on integrity, the SNP can overcome its challenges and achieve its founding mission of independence for Scotland."

Regan resigned from her role as a minister at the end of last year as she expressed opposition to the Government's Gender Recognition Reform Bill. 

During the contest, she promised to "bring back unity" and said that a pro-independence majority at any election in Scotland should be enough to trigger negotiations to leave the UK.

She also vowed to bring together pro-independence parties and organisations to discuss the way forward for the movement in a constitutional convention.