HUMZA Yousaf is reportedly facing a rebel group of around 15 SNP MSPs as one of his key allies queried how “true” the claims are.

According to The Herald, parliamentarians who backed Forbes and even some of Yousaf’s supporters are set to join a bloc that will seek to “actively engage with business”.

Reports say they believe a “reset” between the Scottish Government and the business sector is needed, and that the group are planning to release their own policy papers.

However, Neil Gray, Yousaf’s campaign manager during the leadership contest, said he was “not sure where that came from” when probed about the claims on the BBC.

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According to The Herald, policies touted by Forbes during her campaign run through the grouping, and the group regard themselves as “business friendly”.

However, no potential MSPs have publicly come forward or been named.

It comes after a tense leadership contest and plenty of speculation of a split between the party.

Earlier this week, SNP MSP backbencher Fergus Ewing called for an end to the Bute House Agreement and branded the Scottish Greens “fringe extremists”.

Ewing has been a vocal opponent of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), spearheaded by Greens circularity minister Lorna Slater, and used an op-ed in the Daily Mail to attack the SNP allies as “war bar pseudo-intellectuals whose fingernails have never encountered dirt”.

An insider told The Herald that the group wouldn’t vote against everything “for the sake of it” but would try to amend Government policy if it doesn’t align with their values.

It is understood the group contains MSPs who did not support the gender reform bill, and those who have been critical of the DRS scheme.

However, the insider refused to allow the group to be branded as social and economic Conservatives, claiming that the party got itself into a “fankle” arguing that “raising money for public services became right wing”.

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Asked about the potential backbench rebel bloc on the BBC Sunday Show, Gray said he was keen to work with his predecessor Forbes and others in the parliamentary group.

He added: “I don't know if the facts are true around 15 Rebel MSPs, I'm not sure where that's come from, it could be some of those who supported Kate…”

BBC journalist Martin Geissler interrupted to point out some newspapers were reporting up to 18 rebels.

The National: Gray was asked about the potential block of rebels on the BBCGray was asked about the potential block of rebels on the BBC (Image: BBC)

Gray said: “I'm aware that there are people who voted for Kate, who supported Kate, who are going to be disappointed.

“Humza’s vision for the party, Humza’s work going forward now, is going to be not just uniting the party and bringing people together, as he's attempting to do now.

"But also to unite the country and bring the country together behind his vision, for not just what we can do under devolution, but what we can do to bring about a more socially just fairer, independent Scotland.”

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A spokesperson for Yousaf said: "Humza Yousaf won the backing of the majority of SNP MSPs during his successful and positive campaign to become leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland.

"As First Minister, he looks forward to reaching out to MSPs across the chamber in a genuine spirit of collaboration to tackle the challenges facing our country and seize the opportunities ahead of us.

"As party leader, he has made clear that he will harness the talent across the party as we move forward on our journey to create a better Scotland and deliver our nation’s independence."