THE future of the Scottish Greens’ position in government hangs in the balance as the party relented to pressure for a vote on the issue.

There is discontent among Green members, including councillors, about the Bute House Agreement, the party’s powersharing deal with the SNP.

It comes after the party sparked anger among its own rank and file after the Scottish Government ditched a key target to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 and ditched legally-binding annual targets.

MSPs Patrick Harvie, Ross Greer and Gillian Mackay fielded questions at a tense question and answer session with members on Thursday night.

The session came against the backdrop of growing calls for the party to call an extraordinary annual meeting to put the Bute House Agreement back to the members.

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Some in the party are also concerned with the way the Scottish Government imposed a council tax freeze which local leaders have warned will result in budget cuts.

Ultimately the meeting was called by requests to the party’s standing orders committee by Harvie and Lorna Slater.

Slater said: “The intention, as a democratic party, is to give members the opportunity to debate and decide how the party moves forward, how we continue to build on the progress we have made on our manifesto commitments and to deliver our vision of a fairer, greener Scotland.

“We have achieved more for people and planet in the past 32 months than other parties have in decades. Now we want to hear from our members on how they want us to continue this progress.

The National: Lorna Slater

“Our party is rich in talent and determined voices including campaigners and activists, councillors and MSPs, which is why the Tories, Labour, big polluters, greedy corporate interests and right-wing media commentators are so determined to try and have us fail.

“They fear the progress we have made on making big polluters pay, on rent protections, free bus travel for young people and record levels of spending on climate and nature, and they hate having a pro-independence majority in government at Holyrood.”

Setting out her stall in a pitch to members to stick with the SNP in government, Slater added: “The Scottish Greens are powered by our people, and by shaping the direction we go in our members will provide that springboard needed to make the even bigger breakthroughs for people and for planet that we so badly need.”

No date has yet been given for the meeting but The National understands it must be called within a month's time

SNP leader Humza Yousaf was asked about the Bute House Agreement earlier on Friday and indicated his continuing support of the deal.

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He said: "Any internal matters and discussions in the Green Party are for the Green Party, not for me as leader of the SNP. Of course, I still value the BHA, the cooperation we have with the Greens.

“And what I would say to every Green member – in fact every member of the public – is that yesterday we brought forward an accelerated policy package of climate measures to tackle the climate crisis.”

But he is facing pressure from within his own party to ditch the deal from figures such as former leadership contender Kate Forbes and veteran former minister Fergus Ewing.

Others in the SNP Westminster group also want to ditch the Greens from their party’s quasi-coalition.

The Rainbow Greens, who had launched a petition to force a vote on the deal in protest over a U-turn on proscribing puberty blockers to trans children, welcomed the move.

In a statement, the party's LGBT wing said: "Under overwhelming pressure from members, [Scottish Green Party] co-leaders have this evening written to our standing orders committee, asking them to facilitate an extraordinary general meeting.

"Although we are pleased about this we are confident that the decision was made mere minutes after we informed the party that we were less than 10 signatures away.

"This evening, grass roots members have exercised their democratic voice. The petition currently sits at more than 100 members. 

"The petition will remain open until next week. We will continue the democratic process we started and will be submitting our letter to the [Scottish Green Party] executive, as planned."