SNP MSP Fergus Ewing is reportedly set to lose the whip after backing a no-confidence motion in Greens minister Lorna Slater, reports suggest.

Lorna Slater survived a vote of no confidence in her position as circular economy minister on Tuesday, with opposition attempts to oust her failing at Holyrood over the Deposit Return Scheme.

The Scotsman has reported that party whips warned that voting in favour of the no-confidence motion relating to Slater on Tuesday would result in them losing the whip.

READ MORE: Labour MSP in law breach fears amid Margaret Ferrier petition

Ewing was the only SNP MSP to vote against the Scottish Government, alongside Tory, Labour and LibDem MSPs. 

He said after voting for Slater’s removal: “The minister with responsibility for the scheme does not enjoy the confidence of business.

“I have therefore voted to seek a new minister appointed to take over this troubled matter to deal with the huge fallout of numerous compensation claims and reconsider afresh how best to achieve recycling objectives.” 

The National: Fergus Ewing

Ewing (pictured above) is a long-term critic of the recycling scheme and has become a regular thorn in the side of his own party on a number of policies.

In May, he ripped up a copy of the Scottish Government’s Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) consultation during a member’s debate. 

If Ewing loses the whip, he will be forced to sit as an Independent MSP.

An SNP spokesperson said: “We are pleased to have won this vote convincingly – one SNP MSP not abiding by the whip in this instance is an internal party matter, which will be considered by the chief whip in due course.”

More to follow...