SEVERAL Scottish ministers have slammed Jackie Baillie after she accused Humza Yousaf of “gallivanting around Scotland’s top tourist spots”.

With the Scottish Parliament in recess, the First Minister has been visiting different sites across the country in recent days – including Inverness, Fochabers, and Oban.

Yousaf also launched a new white paper on citizenship after independence on Thursday at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh and visited Rutherglen and Hamilton West on Saturday to campaign ahead of what could be a Westminster by-election in the constituency.

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Baillie attacked Yousaf's recent visits, claiming it was “astonishing” that the SNP leader would be attending political events during a cost-of-living crisis.

The Scottish Labour MSP said: “The out-of-touch First Minister has elected to spend his time gallivanting around Scotland’s top tourist spots.

“The SNP could not be making it any clearer that no matter how desperately the country needs support, their first priority will always be independence.

“Scotland needs a First Minister who is capable of actually leading, not someone who has lost all control, both of the country and his own MSP group.”

Scottish minister for equalities Emma Roddick took issue with Baillie’s comments, calling the cost-of-living line “utterly bizarre”.

The SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands: “Assuming this doesn't refer to Rutherglen, but to his meetings across the Highlands and Islands this week.

“The First Minister should be across the country. We're not 'tourist spots', these are places where folk live and work. Government must work for rural and island areas, too.

“The cost-of-living line is utterly bizarre. My region is most highly affected by high fuel, construction, and other costs. The FM absolutely needs to be here and I'm glad he has been visible in my region this week.”

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley Anne-Somerville also slammed Baillie, tweeting: “Guessing @ScottishLabour are criticising @HumzaYousaf for visiting towns/villages in the Highlands and North East.

“What a bizarre way to talk about swathes of the country outwith central belt where people are also hugely impacted by the cost of living crisis.”

And Mental Health Minister Maree Todd also chimed in, responding to journalist James McEnaney, who had written: "A someone who used to live in one of Scotland's top tourist spots I can confirm that being viewed as little more than a top tourist spot by central belt politicians is rather grating."

Todd added: "As someone who still does live in one of Scotland’s top tourist spots, I can confirm that I’m more than a little grated by these comments from the Scottish Labour depute. 

"Dame Jackie Baillie is definitely disconnected from the people."