THE SNP should end the coalition deal with the Greens if it wants to re-establish a reputation for good governance, Alex Salmond has said.

The former first minister accused Patrick Harvie, one of the Greens’ two ministers in the Scottish Government, of saying “fundamentally stupid things” that put the whole of the Yes-supporting administration on the back foot.

“Given that the Greens have only two ministers, about 10% of the government, they’ve supplied a lot more than 10% of the problems the government has been seeing,” Salmond told an audience at the Fringe.

Speaking alongside former Tory Brexit secretary David Davis (below) and LBC host Iain Dale at an All Talk event on Tuesday, Salmond attacked Harvie in particular.

The National: David Davis was asking an urgent question on the case in the Commons (PA)

He said: “In terms of party management, I really am relaxed in terms of people having different opinions. Usually it doesn’t matter very much.

“But if you’ve got ministers who say fundamentally stupid things, as Patrick Harvie was guilty of last week – he regaled against Lord Haughey … he knows a bit or two about heating homes and insulations, it’s been his business for the last forty years.

“For a government minister to go and say ‘oh he sells cheap equipment’ or whatever Patrick Harvie invented at the moment …

“Governments shouldn’t be insulting leading industrialists in Scotland for no reason whatsoever. They should just have a bit of humility that it might be possible that somebody in the country knows a bit more of their subject than Patrick Harvie does.”

Last week, Harvie insisted that heat pumps are a “tried and tested” technology after Willie Haughey, a Labour peer who made millions through a refrigeration business, claimed they “don’t work as efficiently in Scotland as they do in other countries” and some can malfunction at temperatures of -5C or lower.

Haughey had instead urged people to use electric boilers.

READ MORE: Ellie Gomersall: Backlash against Government plans for heat pumps is utterly bizarre

Harvie said European countries with the highest use of heat pumps, such as Norway, Sweden and Finland, also have the coldest winters.

The Green minister further said companies are investing in smaller, more efficient heat pumps, adding: “That’s where the innovation is going. That’s where the industry is going. And I genuinely hope that Willie Haughey chooses to invest a bit in R&D and catch up.”

Salmond said that from 2007 to 2011 he had successfully run a minority government at Holyrood because they had done so competently – meaning the opposition feared the results of a new election more than the SNP did.

He suggested that Yousaf should also be running a minority government, saying: “If he [Yousaf] would take my advice he would start by ending the coalition with the Greens. Not because I hate the Green party or Green policies but because it’s causing difficulties in the coalition.”