HUMZA Yousaf has sent a video message to SNP members marking his first month as party leader – calling on them to head to the streets for a National Campaign Day this weekend.

Acknowledging a “challenging period” for the SNP in the wake of the arrests of Peter Murrell and Colin Beattie, later released without charge, in a police investigation into party finances, Yousaf called on members to bring “positive momentum” to the movement. 

Referencing a possible upcoming by-election in disgraced former SNP representative Margaret Ferrier’s Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency, the First Minister called for action in the Labour target seat and across the whole of Scotland.

Yousaf argued that with senior Tories like Lord Frost calling for devolution to be put into “reverse”, SNP members should come together at this time to “resist the Tory power grab”.

“With positive momentum, we can take our message to communities right across the country,” the First Minister said in the clip.

“This Saturday, 29th April, I would like to invite members from every constituency across Scotland to join me on the doorsteps.

“So whether you’re in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency, or any other constituency across the country - let’s get out there, chap the doors, let’s make the case for a fairer, greener, wealthier, and of course, independent nation.”

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Referring to his leadership campaign promise that he would be the “First Activist” of the movement, Yousaf called on party members to join him for the day of action.

“Let’s get geared up for a Westminster election, where we have an opportunity to demonstrate that support for the SNP and independence remains strong,” he added.

In the video, Yousaf also reflects on the thousands of new members who have joined the party in recent weeks.

The National: Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf met the Prime Minister (Jane Barlow/PA)

Membership numbers proved a major source of contention during the leadership election, as reports of a large drop were dismissed by the party’s comms bosses.

However, it emerged that numbers had fallen by 30,000 in little over a year, leaving 72,186 people in the party.

Despite the police investigation dominating headlines since Yousaf’s election, the party confirmed that 2703 members had joined since March.

“Our opponents think we’re down and out - they couldn’t be more wrong,” he told supporters.

“As a party, recent weeks have seen an uptick in new members - taking the overall number to more than 74,800.

“And even now, the Scottish Tories - and their Scottish Labour pals - are still refusing to share their membership numbers.

“There’s a word for those who don’t practise what they preach,” he said, before branding the parties “hypocrites”.

We told how Scottish Labour, the Scottish Tories and Scottish LibDems refused to release their membership numbers last week after a challenge by SNP depute leader Keith Brown.