HUMZA Yousaf has said he has “never really been comfortable” with the Scottish National Party’s name.

The First Minister said he did not like the connotations the word “nationalist” could have internationally and that the “national” in the SNP’s name could be misinterpreted.

The SNP leader was speaking to BBC journalist Nick Robinson on the Radio 4 podcast Political Thinking when he made the comments.

Robinson pointed to Pakistan, where Yousaf’s family traces its heritage, and India as examples of modern nationalism which is “destructive and dangerous”.

Yousaf said there was no comparison to be made between India, Pakistan, and “what is happening here in Scotland”.

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However, he admitted he had “never really been comfortable with the fact we have national in our party’s name”.

“Not because the founding members of the SNP had any far-right inclination, they certainly didn’t, or any nationalist inclination the way you expressed there but because it can be misinterpreted,” Yousaf went on.

“But we are the Scottish National Party, we have a very strong brand, a strong identity.

“We’ve worked really hard to make it really clear, and I think it’s understood, that we are a civic national party.

“We are a party that believes it doesn’t matter really where you come from but where we are going together.

“And there’s no doubt about our politics being rooted in the left and centre-left of political discourse.”

Yousaf’s comments echo similar sentiments expressed by his predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon, in 2017.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival that year, the former SNP leader said the word “national” in the party name could be “hugely problematic”.

She went on: "If I could turn the clock back, what 90 years, to the establishment of my party, and choose its name all over again, I wouldn't choose the name it has got just now, I would call it something other than the Scottish National Party.”