SCOTTISH LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has claimed Humza Yousaf will be the “last nationalist First Minister of Scotland” at his party’s conference in Bournemouth.

The MSP said that the SNP were “haemorrhaging fair minded, reasonable voters” and that people were “looking for a party to inspire them again”.

He added: “We are the answer they’ve been looking for, and it’s why Humza Yousaf will be the last nationalist First Minister of Scotland.”

The LibDems currently have just four MSPs in Holyrood and, although a recent YouGov poll suggests they could double that number, they are likely to remain the country’s fifth biggest party.

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Cole-Hamilton further told party delegates: "Conference, these islands and our world face colossal, existential threats.

"They will not be bounded by the nearest hill, they do not end at river’s shore, and, conference, we all know that the answer to none of them can be found in a border or a flag.

"Conference we come together in halls like these to build our vision for a liberal society. North of the Border, our vision for our country is a liberal Scotland proud in its membership of a reformed and federal United Kingdom, at the very heart of Europe.

"The promise of a new enlightenment lies ahead - and we are here for it. A spirit of reform is gripping these islands - and we are shaping it. Change is coming - and we will be part of it. Now, for a better country."

Elsewhere, speaking on BBC’s Sunday Show, Cole-Hamilton was asked about the LibDem’s previous coalition with the Tories.

He said: “We’ve apologised for that and been, well, I think over time, people have understood why we did the deals that we did at that time.

“But this is a long time ago now, a lot of water under the bridge. But it’s a really important thing to stand for election and to have a hope of actually delivering change for people.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”

He was also pushed on Brexit after LibDem leader Ed Davey said rejoining the EU is currently “off the table”.

Cole-Hamilton told the BBC: “It’s just a statement of reality. I don’t think that Europe would have us right now and nobody believes we’re going back into Europe this year or anytime soon.”

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When it was put to him that only the SNP were pledging to rejoin the EU in an independent Scotland, he said: “I think that’s absolutely for the birds. Nobody believes that independence is coming.

“And even if it were that we would get into the European Union for even a decade after that, so no, it’s pie in the sky.

“I’m a Liberal Democrat. Of course, I would love to be back in the. European Union. But I recognise that’s not where we are. That’s not the reality. It will take time.”