HUMZA Yousaf attacked Anas Sarwar’s “flip-flopping” positions in a furious exchange over oil and gas resources at FMQs.

The First Minister hit back at claims from the Scottish Labour leader that the SNP are “siding with energy giants” after Keir Starmer’s windfall tax plans prompted outrage from the industry last week.

But Yousaf insisted that the SNP does support a windfall tax - just not one where the profits would be used to fund nuclear power in England, as Labour has suggested.

The FM said it was “incredibly brave” of Sarwar to lead on the issue in Holyrood on Thursday, after a regional newspaper gave a brutal response to Labour’s plans for the north east.

READ MORE: Explained: Where the SNP stand on an oil and gas windfall tax

He told the chamber: “I, of course, travelled to the north east and heard the palpable anger from oil and gas and renewable energy and industries, who of course spoke about Anas Sarwar’s plans, the Labour party’s plans, which would in there words, not my words, the industry’s words, risk up to 100,000 jobs in the north east.

“How does Anas Sarwar think, in the middle of a cost of living crisis, throwing 100,000 workers on the scrap heap is going to help households up and down the country?”

Yousaf said that he does support a windfall tax on energy firms - but not “Labour’s aggressive plans to raid the north east”.

“We won’t allow it, we won’t stand for it, we’ll stand up for the north east, Anas Sarwar can’t even stand up to Keir Starmer,” he added.

The National:

Sarwar retorted that every time Labour have “made a change to help working people”, warnings have been made by industry that have not come true, pointing to moves in 1997 to introduce a minimum wage and a windfall tax.

The Scottish Labour leader accused Yousaf of now “siding with energy giants making record profits” while putting up taxes for working people.

He added: “Why does the SNP believe that if you earn £28,500 you have the broadest shoulders you should pay more tax, but if you’re an energy giant making billions in profits you should pay less tax?”

The First Minister fired back: “Imagine taking a lecture about standing up for those on the lowest incomes from the man who’s flip-flopped his position and now believes in lifting the cap on bankers' bonuses.

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“Who would have thought, the party of the few, not the party of the many.”

The FM said it was “astonishing” Sarwar had accused the industry of lying, and said Labour’s plans would “wipe out north sea investment”.

Yousaf added: “Successive Westminster governments have raided the north east, have raided Aberdeen, have raided our oil and gas revenues and not a single penny has been invested back into the people of Aberdeen or the north east and for the Anas Sarwar should stand up and apologise.”

Sarwar replied that he “can’t wait” to put the choice between the two parties to the Scottish people at the looming General Election.

The National: Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar during First Minster's Questions (FMQ's) at the Scottish

“Firmly the SNP [is] on the side of energy giants making billions, and Labour trying to bring down people’s bills and on the side of working people,” he said.

The First Minister fired back: “Can I remind AS when he talks about people in cost of living crisis he has now flip-flopped his way to being in a position where he believes in retaining the cap on child benefits but wants to lift the cap on bankers bonuses.

“It is utterly outrageous.”

Yousaf added that he also “can’t wait” to go head to head with Labour at the election, with Sarwar seen gesturing at the FM and telling him to “bring it on”.

Elsewhere, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross led on a report from Audit Scotland on the NHS, which said the government needs to produce a “clear national strategy for health and social care”.

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The report said: “The NHS in Scotland is still struggling to provide healthcare in a timely way. Most waiting times standards are not being met.”

Ross claimed that Yousaf and the Scottish Government had been “asleep at the wheel” and that there was a failure of leadership governing the health service.

Yousaf said he would respond to the contents of the report in “due course”, but insisted that investment in the Scottish NHS is higher than in other parts of the UK.

The FM hit back at the Conservatives who he said were cutting services "to the bone".