THE SNP have committed an "act of political cowardice" in ending the Bute House Agreement, Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater has declared.

In a scathing statement following Humza Yousaf's sudden ditching of the parties' co-operation deal, former minister Slater accused the governing party of trying to appease "reactionary forces" in Scotland.

Slater said Yousaf had ended the deal in a "weak and hopeless" way, having defended the Bute House Agreement multiple times just this week.

READ MORE: LIVE: All the updates as Humza Yousaf ends Scottish Greens deal

"This is an act of political cowardice by the SNP, who are selling out future generations to appease the most reactionary forces in the country," she said.

“Voters deserve better, Scotland deserves better. Scottish Green voters certainly deserve better.

"They have broken the bonds of trust with members of both parties who have twice chosen the co-operation agreement and climate  action over chaos, culture wars and division. They have betrayed the electorate.

"And by ending the agreement in such a weak and thoroughly hopeless way, Humza Yousaf has signalled that when it comes to political cooperation, he can no longer be trusted."

The early morning decision on Thursday came as Yousaf was about to hold an emergency Cabinet meeting. 

Concerns about the Bute House Agreement erupted last week when Greens members expressed concern over the pausing of puberty blockers for under-18s in Scotland in the wake of the Cass Report, and the ditching of key climate targets.

The party's LGBT wing, the Rainbow Greens, launched a petition calling for a discussion on the future of the co-operation deal, and it was confirmed that an EGM would be held with members given a vote.

Slater went on: "In just a few weeks time our own members were to have a democratic say on endorsing the co-operation agreement.

"We are confident they would have supported us in continuing our work for Scotland, as they have done at every turn.

"Neither they nor SNP members will have that opportunity. Instead, the most reactionary and backwards-looking forces within the First Minister’s party have forced him to do the opposite of what he himself had said was in Scotland’s best interests.

The National: From left: Patrick Harvie, Humza Yousaf, and Lorna Slater reaffirm the Bute House Agreement after

"By contrast we as co-leaders of the Scottish Greens were prepared to put our own political careers on the line with our members, to defend our achievements in government, despite enduring all that SNP backbenchers and others threw against us.

"What a pity he didn’t have the fortitude or the bravery to do the same. If they can’t stand up to members of their own party, how can anyone expect them to stand up to the UK Government at Westminster and defend the interests of Scotland?

"We want, we demand, a fairer greener Scotland. We believed the Bute House Agreement would speed up that process, only to be let down by the SNP time and time again - on council tax, on oil and gas, on 2030  and most obviously, again today.

"I appeal to those SNP members who do care about climate, trans rights, independence and our country to consider if they are in the right party for their values, or if their home should be with us as we prepare to step up our defence of the planet in opposition.

"Finally, to all those who will feel hurt and betrayed today, know this: our resolve is absolute, we will not abandon you as the SNP have, we will fight for your future with every breath we take."

Shortly after the statement was released, Green MSPs gathered at Holyrood for a brief press conference with reporters.

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Co-leader Patrick Harvie gave an equally scathing take on the First Minister's decision. 

"This is a total U-turn on his position from recent weeks and even days," he said. "He had reasserted his government's commitment to the progressive policies that our parties had jointly agreed on, and the need to ramp up climate action in the face of decades of political inaction - including from the SNP government.

The National:

"The First Minister has decided, I'm sorry to say, to capitulate to the most reactionary, backward-looking forces within the SNP. And it's the opposite of what's in Scotland's best interests."

Harvie accused Yousaf of "shoring up support" from the "conservative wing" of the SNP.

"We now expect to see a raft of progressive policy watered down, delayed or ditched altogether from rent controls to nature restoration, new sustainable transport policies to Scotland's leading approach on decarbonising homes."