KATE Forbes has said the expulsion of Angus MacNeil from the SNP will do the party “zero favours” in the Western Isles.

MacNeil announced he had been kicked out of the party on Thursday night after publicly clashing with chief whip Brendan O'Hara in the division lobby. 

It comes after he was suspended for one week from the party’s Westminster group, which expired on July 12.

On Thursday evening the party's conduct committee met to discuss the Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP’s case after he refused to rejoin the Westminster group, before MacNeil announced on social media he had been expelled.

In an interview with Iain Dale and former home secretary Jacqui Smith at the Edinburgh Fringe on Friday, Forbes – who represents Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch at Holyrood – admitted he did not know what had gone on with MacNeil and the group but insisted she was concerned about the implications it may have in the General Election next year.

READ MORE: What SNP MPs are saying about Angus MacNeil's expulsion

Asked what she thought of MacNeil being expelled – or “leaving” – the party, Forbes said: “I think it’s unfortunate when anyone leaves. I do not know the ins and outs sufficiently of what the case was, but I think this result does us zero favours when it comes to the next election in  the Western Isles.

“I don’t know the case, but I do know the outcome does us no services in the Western Isles which is going to be a challenging seat anyway.”

MacNeil – who has said he has no plans to join rival party Alba - has represented the constituency since 2005 but the decision means he cannot sit as an SNP MP any longer and appears to rule out any reconciliation with the party.

He has said he will run in the constituency - a key Labour target - as an independent at the next General Election.

Westminster group leader Stephen Flynn said the party wanted a “positive outcome” but added this was not always possible in politics.

During the interview, Forbes was also asked about her thoughts on the future of the Bute House Agreement between the SNP and the Greens after she called for a party conference debate on it earlier this week.

Expanding on that, she said she would not want a vote that simply said “Greens out or Greens in”, but wants to debate the substance of the deal.

She said: “I think cooperation matters. This is about the substance of that agreement because we’ve already seen a change to the Bute House Agreement in the form of we were going to implement Highly Protected Marine Areas and ban fishing in 10% of Scotland’s waters, and that’s been changed.”

Asked if this was “Kate Forbes revenge” after the Greens said they would end the Bute House Agreement had she become first minister, she replied: “Not at all.”

When Dale speculated about a vote for Greens in or Greens out, Forbes said: “I wouldn’t want that. I would want a debate about the substance of the Bute House Agreement. I would want to look at whether we are meeting the needs of the people at this time.”