HUMZA Yousaf has said he will take an oath of allegiance to King Charles if he is required to do so “in my duty as First Minister”.

The National quizzed the FM – who is a republican – on the issue ahead of him attending the coronation on Saturday.

He said although his views were well known – that Scotland should be independent and have an elected head of state – he would take an oath as he is there “for the people of Scotland”.

Yousaf told The National: “I’m going down there to do my duty as First Minister and if it means, in my duty as FM, I’ve got to take the oath as I’ve taken only five weeks ago – almost word for word I think – that’s something of course I will do.

“I think my opinion on the monarchy and what I believe in terms of a future independent Scotland is well known, but first and foremost my oath and my allegiance is always to the people of Scotland.”

Asked if the notion of pledging allegiance to the King made him uncomfortable as a republican, he said: “I’m doing my duty. It’s so important for me to do my duty. I’m First Minister and I said I would represent all the people of Scotland and that’s what I intend to do.”

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The FM was criticised last month for promising to attend an independence rally in Glasgow on the same day as the coronation before confirming he would be attending the King’s crowning instead.

Yousaf – who had to take an oath when he became FM - has previously said Scotland could ditch the monarchy within five years of independence, but accepts that it is not an immediate priority.

He told The National during the SNP leadership campaign he considers himself “a citizen, not a subject”.