HUMZA Yousaf said he’s “delighted” Nicola Sturgeon will be attending SNP conference as he dismissed suggestions her presence would “undermine” him.

It comes after the SNP decided on a new independence strategy on Sunday as the party backed a plan based on winning a majority of seats at the next General Election.

The decision saw Sturgeon's proposals of treating the next Westminster vote as a de facto referendum rejected.

The former first minister is set to attend the SNP conference on Monday, and take press questions.

Yousaf said he’s “delighted” Sturgeon will be there.

“She’s a member. She’s every right to be here and I’m certain conference will really look forward to seeing here as well," he said.

Speaking to reporters, Yousaf was asked again if Sturgeon’s presence could “undermine” him, to which he laughed and replied: “Nicola’s a member. She led the party for so long. She’s going to get a lot of love quite rightly.

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“Members will be really excited to see her. I keep in regular touch. I really look forward to Nicola being here.”

Asked if they had spoken about the new independence strategy, the First Minister replied again: “Nicola and I speak regularly.”

Situation in Gaza

Asked for an update on his family in Gaza, Yousaf said: “I spoke to them last night. There’s been some text messages exchange this morning.

“They’re looking at the same news reports you’re looking at. We’re hearing speculation the border may open but I’m afraid nothing has been confirmed yet.

“They’re still trapped in Gaza.”

Scotland success

He then returned to the huddle as he walked away to answer a question on Scotland’s qualification for Euro 2024.

Yousaf congratulated Steve Clarke’s side on an “incredible run of form” and that he looked forward to “defending the title” when Scotland co-hosts the tournament in 2028.