THE Conservatives are to lodge a vote of no confidence in First Minister Humza Yousaf in the Scottish Parliament.

Douglas Ross claimed the SNP leader was “unfit for office” during a fiery clash at FMQs on Thursday, and announced he would be lodging the no confidence motion.

It comes after Humza Yousaf ended the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens by removing the party's two co-leader, Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie, from government.

The agreement had formally united the two pro-independence parties in the Scottish Parliament, and without it in place Yousaf is left leading a minority SNP government.

READER POLL: Is scrapping the Bute House Agreement the right decision?

The Tories' no-confidence motion is likely to be backed by the Unionist parties, but he will survive if he can retain the support of his Green former colleagues.

However, that is in question after a brutal statement from the Greens accused Yousaf of " an act of political cowardice ... selling out future generations to appease the most reactionary forces in the country".

A Greens spokesperson said the party's MSPs would meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss their "position on future votes".

After the 2021 Holyrood elections, the SNP had 64 MSPs, tied with the 64 opposition MSPs in the parliament after the presiding officer is removed from the total count of 129.

However, Ash Regan's defection to Alba means the SNP are currently minorly outnumbers by 65 opposition MSPs to 63.

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Announcing the Conservatives' motion, Ross told MSPs: “I can confirm today that on behalf of the Scottish Conservatives, I am lodging a vote of no confidence in Humza Yousaf.

“He is a failed First Minister. He is focused on the wrong priorities for Scotland. He has governed in the SNP's interests and not in Scotland's interests. He is unfit for office.

“Shouldn't this be the end of the road for this weak First Minister?”

Lodging no-confidence motions is something of a hallmark of Ross's Scottish Tory group. Under his leadership, they have lodged motions of no confidence in Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney, Lorna Slater, and threatened another on Michael Matheson. 

Responding, Yousaf challenged the Tories to put their record "on the line" against the SNP's.

The First Minister said: “The Conservatives are nothing if they are not predictable, and here is an opportunity for oppositions to show what they are really made of.

“Do they want to govern in the national interest? Do they want to come together with ideas? Do they want to collaborate?

“Or are they going to play, as Douglas Ross has demonstrated, political games – and they will be judged very poorly on that.

“If they want to be judged on the record, let me say it's a record that we and I stand very proud of, the fact that our actions will lift an estimated 100,000 children out of poverty.

“It’s our actions that, of course, have seen the fact that we've removed peak rail fares from our railways. It's our action that have seen a council tax freeze helping in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

"So I'll leave it to Douglas Ross to play the political games that he wants to play. And if he wants to put our record and his party's record on the line, let's do that.

“There's a General Election coming this year, and I can guarantee you that the electorate will give the Conservative Party an almighty thumping.”