DEPUTY First Minister Shona Robison refused to say if veteran SNP MSP Fergus Ewing would be disciplined following a series of rebellions in recent months.

On Friday, The Times reported the party would remove the whip from Ewing who voted, in June, for a Scottish Tory motion of no confidence in Scottish Greens circular economy minister Lorna Slater.

Speaking to BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Robison said the issue was a matter for the parliamentary group and not for her as a government minister.

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When asked if he should be suspended from the SNP group, Robison said: “I’m not going to discuss somebody’s situation or the difficult issues someone has to wrestle with.

"The group will make that decision.”

The SNP have not confirmed that Ewing will face a suspension next week. However, First Minister Humza Yousaf confirmed that the SNP's Holyrood group will meet to discuss his future in the party. 

Ewing won MSP of the Year at the Holyrood Magazine political awards in Edinburgh and hinted in his acceptance speech that he could lose the whip next week.

The National:

The Times reported that senior sources said Ewing was set to be "severely disciplined" for his repeated rebellions. 

At the awards bash, Ewing suggested he would vote against the Scottish Government on short term lets legislation when the Tories force a vote on it in the coming weeks. 

He also joked, after accepting the award: “Presiding Officer, I hope the next time my name is not on the SNP list nonetheless I can catch your eye as a result of that. It might be next week actually… Don’t tell the whips!”

It comes after the Inverness and Nairn MSP has rebelled against a number of Scottish Government policies in recent months, as well as calling for a vote on the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens at the party's conference in October. 

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The Conservative motion of no confidence in Slater was brought to Holyrood after the company set up to run Scotland’s deposit return recycling scheme called in the administrators, putting scores of jobs on the line.

The FM refused to say if he would take action against Ewing at the time.

And, Ewing has previously spoken out against a licensing scheme for short term let operators which he said would “decimate” the sector.

He signed a letter alongside 31 Tory MSPs, three Labour MSPs and two LibDems, calling for a delay to the October 1 deadline for short-term let landlords to register with local authorities. 

The National:

Last month, Ewing (above) told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “I was the tourism minister for over six years in all and came to understand how important this is for tourism … not only to tourism but providing accommodation for workers who need to work away from home.

“They are the lifeblood of tourism but also important to society as a whole.

“As of the beginning of August, only a very small number of these premises had made an application for a licence and only about 8% granted across Scotland.

“In Edinburgh, a staggering 97% of businesses haven’t submitted an application.

“So there’s no way, not a cat’s chance, that these applications can be dealt with by the deadline.”

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We told how Alba party leader Alex Salmond hailed Ewing's commitment to the independence cause as he criticised Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Slater. 

Salmond said Yousaf is in "severe danger" of undermining his leadership after Angus MacNeil MP lost the whip in Westminster, and Ewing now reportedly lined up "for the chop". 

The former first minister said he only expelled one parliamentarian during his tenure as SNP leader after they were convicted of criminal assault. 

"I never would have dreamt of getting rid of people just because they disagreed with me on politics or tactics or dissented from some votes in Parliament," Salmond added.