KATE Forbes has called for the power-sharing agreement between SNP and Scottish Greens to be repealed so her party can “take charge of the narrative and rebuild momentum”.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and former SNP leadership contender backed calls in the summer for a “discussion” with SNP members over the future of the Bute House Agreement.

Now, Forbes has gone a step further in an interview with The New Statesmen, stating the agreement “should be repealed and the SNP should operate again as a one-party minority government”.

Multiple SNP politicians including Fergus Ewing, Kate Forbes and Joanna Cherry have said the Bute House Agreement should be reviewed or renegotiated, with Ewing branding the Greens “hard-left extremists” that have “tarnished” his party.

The National:

Polling expert Professor John Curtice has previously dismissed the idea that the deal is the main reason why the SNP have seen a shift in the polls.

The Bute House Agreement was signed after the last Scottish Parliament election and brought Greens into government for the first time in the UK.

The Greens gained two ministerial positions for their co-leaders – Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater – in the co-operation deal.

This was renewed following the appointment of Humza Yousaf, however the recent Scottish Government’s proposed council tax freeze was said to have “broke the Bute House Agreement”.

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A motion passed at the Scottish Green party conference in October criticised the way the SNP handled the announcement of the council tax freeze policy at the SNP conference, as it did not allow Greens to scrutinise “the annual budget process” as agreed.

Focusing on party policy differences, Forbes said: “We were elected on a SNP manifesto not a Green Party manifesto or the Bute House Agreement. Nearly all the issues that have lost us support in the last year are found in the Bute House Agreement and not in the SNP manifesto.

“I see it particularly acutely with the economy and in rural Scotland, as the Greens appear to want to overregulate rural communities out of existence and hike taxes to a rate that will ultimately reduce public revenue. That is despite the cost-of-living crisis hitting our economy and the rural sector particularly hard.”

Forbes highlighted the SNP's record at elections prior to the agreement, claiming the victories happened because Scots “felt we were on their side”.

The National: Kate Forbes on the campaign trail during the SNP leadership contest

She said: “The SNP wins votes from the north to the south of Scotland when the people trust us to focus more on their needs than on empty ideology. Consensus politics is absolutely right – but it still needs to be representative.”

The MSP argued the power of the Greens “should be proportional to the public’s support for their policies”.

Looking ahead to the General Election campaign, Forbes said: “We need to take charge of the narrative and rebuild momentum – as we’ve been able to do before.

"There’s a perception among members and voters, rightly or wrongly, that the SNP isn’t the same party as the one that was first elected in 2007, and then with a massive vote in 2011, with a strategy for an independence referendum.

“And yet, we absolutely can once again gain the trust of voters and a reputation for competent government.

“The SNP governments of 2007, 2011 and 2016 knew how to get things done. They believed in fundamental reforms that delivered better outcomes for the public. They were clever at building consensus across parties. They were willing to be creative. They managed to speak for the fisherman in Buchan as well as the working mum in Glasgow. We need to get back to that approach. It’s in our DNA.”

Responding to Forbes’ comments, 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 under-22s.

“And the SNP is fully focused on taking action to support households through the cost-of-living crisis by, for example, freezing council tax.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “Kate Forbes lost the leadership contest for her party which, some months later, continues to be a considerable source of relief for all those who, like the majority of SNP members and ourselves, believe in a progressive, inclusive form of politics working on behalf of everyone in Scotland.”

Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy said: “From the reckless plans to impose Highly Protected Marine Areas on coastal communities, to the flawed gender self-ID Bill, and the rowing back on major road upgrades, the Greens’ bizarre policies are arrogantly out-of-touch with the real priorities of Scotland.

“Kate Forbes is clearly all too happy to shout from the sidelines but she needs to start backing up her rhetoric.

“She failed to step up and support our motion of no confidence in Lorna Slater, who should have been sacked for her shambolic deposit return scheme.

“Until she stops toeing the party line in crucial parliamentary votes, these are empty words.”