THE SNP’s policy convener has called for “transparency” from those who have expressed opposition to the Bute House Agreement.

It comes following a report in The National’s sister paper The Herald which suggested a number of backbench MSPs were unhappy with the current arrangement.

One MSP told the newspaper the Greens were “killing us” while a number of other high-profile figures have also spoken out.

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Former finance secretary Kate Forbes suggested the SNP should “check-in” with members about the content of the deal while MP Joanna Cherry has said she would like to see the agreement renegotiated.

Fergus Ewing (below), one of the most vocal critics of the deal, said that now is the right time for members to have their say.

He said the Scottish public “increasingly see the Scottish Greens as hard left extremists” and that they are “seen as primarily responsible for a whole series of policy disasters over the last two years”.

The National: Fergus Ewing is an SNP MSP but has frequently rebelled against the party line

The Herald reports that they contacted all backbench MSPs to ask their opinion on the agreement and say that only one responded positively, describing the deal as “the lesser of two evils”.

Another MSP said they had seen a “number of our worst fears play out” as a result of the deal.

Speaking on Twitter, the SNP’s policy convener Toni Giugliano said: “The Bute House Agreement consolidates the pro-independence majority – backed by 95% of members.

“Those who want to jeopardise that – months from an election – should be more transparent about their motives.

“If ‘policy’ is the concern then bring it to conference. It is right and proper that SNP members develop (or review) policy on issues like HPMAs and assert their position.

“I have supported branches in their efforts to bring forward a resolution on the issue and I hope the rest of Conference Committee will too.

“It’s for SG (Scottish Government) to then be led by that position and decide a way forward. I also don’t happen to believe that any agreement can be static. It must evolve and respond to the political circumstances of the day.”

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In response to MSP’s concerns, an SNP spokesperson said: “Only a matter of months ago, SNP members voted to elect Humza Yousaf as SNP leader and First Minister after he stood on a platform endorsing the Scottish Government’s co-operation agreement which 95% of party members voted to support.

“The Bute House Agreement has already delivered vital steps to tackle climate change, a better deal for tenants, and action to reduce poverty and inequality, such as an increase to the Scottish Child Payment and free bus travel for the under-22s.”

In response to Ewing’s criticism, a spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said the comments were “tiresome” and “a matter for his own party”.

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They said: “The Scottish Greens will always put people and planet first, with climate and tackling child poverty and inequality at the heart of our social and environmental focus as has been demonstrated over the past two years.

“That is why the Tories, Labour and their supporters are so desperate to attack the Bute House Agreement because it delivers the kind of steady government Westminster can only dream of.

“Mr Ewing’s tiresome comments and questionable record are, frankly, an irrelevance and a matter for his own party.”