HUMZA Yousaf clashed with presenter Trevor Phillips several times during a fiery Sky News interview on Sunday.

Speaking on the Sophy Ridge show, the veteran broadcaster started the interview by highlighting the heckler that interrupted the First Minister’s speech at yesterday’s SNP independence convention.

Phillips then added: “Heckling is probably the least of his worries with the party still mired in chaos following financial scandals and arrests, including his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon."

He went on: “Oh, and the polls are looking pretty grim.”

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Yousaf immediately clapped back, saying: “Per your introduction, it’s probably worth me saying that in virtually every single poll that has come out, we still continue to be the party that leads every single other party in Scotland."

He added: “I thought I’d just float that in there, given your very kind introduction.”

Phillips later questioned Yousaf on the mandate for a second independence referendum.

The host asked: “If there's a General Election and either Sunak or Starmer are in Downing Street, they will have gone to the country with a manifesto that says we are not going to have another referendum.

“In what way is it not democratic for them to fulfil their mandate given to them by a General Election of the United Kingdom?

Yousaf again came back again: “There's two points to make on that. If we beat Labour in Scotland, then of course we win the General Election here in Scotland.

“If you are saying that Scotland can continue to be denied a referendum because they are outvoted by the fact that the rest of the UK have more seats, then I would say to you very gently – that’s the democratic deficit which we are continuing to rail against.

“You are essentially saying unless the rest of the UK allows you to become independent, and that's the only way you can become independent.”

Phillips also questioned the Scottish Government’s record, saying it’s “not better”. Yousaf responded, saying: “I just don’t agree.”

Yousaf also corrected the veteran broadcaster when questioned about the UK Government blocking Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) bill.

Phillips said: “One other thing which has caused you quite a lot of trouble. I know that the Scottish Parliament has passed the GRR bill but it is an extremely unpopular bill according to the polls in Scotland.

“Barely one in five people support it. Labour has said it won’t support it. The Tories have said they won't support it. Are you going to continue pushing for that through legal action in the courts?”

Yousaf fired back: “Well, first of all, let me correct your assertion again.

“And this is really basic actually. The Labour Party did support the GRR bill, as did the Liberal Democrats, as did the Greens, as did the SNP and indeed some members of the Conservative party. We had members of every single party supporting it.

“This is a pretty simple issue of democracy – whether you agree with the substance of the GRR bill or not – we have a bill that's been passed by the majority of Parliament that is within our devolved competency which has then been vetoed by the UK Government.”