DISCUSSION of “controversial” green policies could be on the agenda at this year’s SNP conference, which is also expected to include a “proper debate” on independence.

Party members have until 9am tomorrow to submit draft resolutions for the annual conference, which will take place in October in Aberdeen.

SNP policy convener Toni Giugliano said it would be particularly important in shaping the manifesto ahead of the General Election and urged members to participate in ensuring there would be a “grassroots-led” agenda.

While the details have yet to be decided, he said it was anticipated there would be space for a “proper debate” on the independence strategy.

He said he had been encouraging branches to resubmit resolutions that were drawn up in anticipation of the special conference on independence earlier in the year, which was instead developed into a convention after the change in party leadership.

“The convention was not a policy-making body, so I’ve encouraged branches that if those standalone motions are relevant, to resubmit them to ensure the party has a full and proper debate on independence as is right,” he said.

“As we have discussed all year long, this would culminate in a discussion at conference.”

There have been calls in recent weeks for the SNP’s membership to have a fresh say on the Bute House partnership agreement with the Greens, following concerns over policies such as Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

SNP MSP Fergus Ewing called for a new vote on it, branding the Greens as “fringe extremists”, while former leadership challenger Kate Forbes said there should be a “check-in” with members now it had been in operation for two years.

MP Joanna Cherry has also called for the agreement to be renegotiated and discussed by the party.

Giugliano said he did not believe members wanted a fresh vote on the entire agreement, but said there could be discussion on the policy issues in question.

“For example, the SNP have never debated HPMAs at conference, yet we have a Bute House Agreement that commits the government to HPMAs,” he said.

“What I think needs to happen is we need the party to have a debate and to shape its own policy on some of these issues.

“That is the right way to go about this, not to say the Bute House Agreement is in question.

“I don’t think that is what members want and I think it is in contradiction to what an independence election would be, which is to highlight we have a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, the people of Scotland have voted to choose an independent future.”

He added: “I have seen a draft resolution on HPMAs from coastal branches that will be coming forward calling for a different approach to HPMAs to the one that was put forward.

“That, to me, is the right way to go about it – it is for the party to determine what its stance is on some of these issues of contention and for branches and conference to assert its position on some of these issues. It is then for government to heed that position and take full account of it.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf has rejected calls for a fresh vote on the Bute House Agreement, saying the only people suggesting it are those who previously opposed it.

“We have already put the Bute House Agreement to our members – 95% of those that voted, voted for the Bute House agreement,” he said.

“Of course, we just had a leadership contest only 130 odd days ago and I don’t think there could be any dubiety on my stance which was to preserve and maintain the Bute House Agreement and maintain a pro-independence majority.

“Of course I won that leadership contest. I think members have had their say and frankly any party that is simply navel-gazing will be punished by the electorate for it.”