AN SNP insider has called for a “deal to be struck” between John Swinney and Kate Forbes amid speculation that both could run for party leadership.

Swinney and Forbes have emerged as the two main contenders to take over from Humza Yousaf after he announced his resignation on Monday, following the political fallout of his decision to scrap the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens.

Numerous figures within the SNP have already backed Swinney to become the next first minister, including party leader at Westminster Stephen Flynn, his predecessor Ian Blackford, and several serving ministers such as Jenny Gilruth and Mairi McAllan.

However, the “SNP establishment” has been accused of lining up behind Swinney in order to thwart a leadership bid from Forbes by her allies.

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But one party insider told The National that "a deal struck between the pair" would do the party “a world of good”.

They said they would like to see Swinney become first minister and Kate Forbes given the role of deputy first minister.

“I think efforts need to be made to unite the party,” they said.

“And I think the person to do that is John Swinney. But we also need to recognise that the party does need to look forward and bring in new talent.

“Bringing in Forbes would allow us to do that, too.”

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They added that Stephen Flynn should be given “a bigger role” within the party, allowing Swinney, Forbes and Flynn to create “a leadership team the public can recognise and resonate with”.

“No one wants to go through another agonising six-week leadership contest,” they said.

“We need to be adults, here. We’ve got a looming General Election, that’s the priority.

“Come the 2026 Scottish Parliament elections we might be in a totally different position. So, there will be opportunities for newcomers to lead the party – whether it’s Kate Forbes, Stephen Flynn or someone else.”

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When asked whether they thought having Kate Forbes in a senior government role would threaten cooperation from the Greens, they said it would not be a “deal breaker”.

“I’m proposing John Swinney becomes first minister precisely because Kate Forbes doesn’t have the numbers,” they added.

“She doesn’t have the backing of all SNP MSPs never mind the Greens.

“But I think it would be a different story if Kate was deputy first minister. I don’t think the Greens would have much of an issue there.

“That would be a matter for them but I don’t think it would be a deal breaker.”

Neither Swinney or Forbes have formally declared their intention to run.

However, Swinney said he is giving "active consideration" to calls for him to step up while Forbes noted she had "a lot of support" within the SNP and confirmed she was considering another leadership bid.