JOURNALIST Andrew Neil has been forced to delete a social media post falsely claiming that Humza Yousaf would be entitled to £52,000 a year after stepping down as First Minister.

The Spectator chairman, who has been a vocal critic of the SNP government for years, made the claim on Twitter/X on Monday. 

Other websites also published the incorrect details, prompting the Scottish Parliament itself to put out a response on Wednesday morning.

Neil wrote: "Devolution might not have done much for ordinary Scots but it's been a dripping roast for Scotland's political elite. Take Humza Yousaf.

"He was First Minister for 13 months on an annual salary of almost £177,000 – more than the Prime Minister – of which £104,500 was for being FM (the balance was his MSP salary).

"He is now entitled to half his FM salary - £52,000 a year - FOR LIFE. Plus his MSP salary. Talk about snouts in the trough..."

However, the Parliament  said Yousaf's pension would actually be “in the order of” £2000 per annum, payable from age 65.

READ MORE: SNP source calls for 'deal' between John Swinney and Kate Forbes

The National: The world media has been reporting on Humza Yousaf's resignation

In a statement sent to the media on Wednesday, the Parliament said: “Humza Yousaf’s First Minister pension will be either 1/40 or 1/50 of his final salary of £104,584 (depending on which funding option he chose) for each year in office (ie one year in office).

“His First Minister pension will therefore be in the order of £2k per annum, payable from age 65.”

Subscribe to The National for just £20 for a year

Neil's post has since been deleted, but social media users encouraged the journalist to issue a correction.

"Not surprised at Andrew lying regarding this, although anything to talk Scotland down goes," commented one independence supporter.

"Unless he tweeted his error and an apology to his 1.2M followers, I'd say the disinfo had the desired effect & got out there," added another.

The National: Andrew Neil

Professor Steve Peers commented: "Spreading falsehoods online is often attributed to random anonymous trolls. But in this case a huge untruth was tweeted by Andrew Neil."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Ministerial pay remains frozen at 2008-09 levels, recognising the wider economic and fiscal pressures, as well as the restraints placed on public sector pay.” 

The row comes after Neil was called out by campaigner and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch during an appearance on LBC this week. 

After Neil suggested the SNP were partially responsible for the decline of shipbuilding in Scotland post-1900, and argued that anti-Westminster sentiment is largely anti-English, the activist's response was widely shared.

READ MORE: This GMB clip could be the worst Scottish politics analysis ever on TV

“Honestly, if we just played that last five minutes to the whole of Scotland we’d have 80% independence," Riddoch said. "What a load of absolute rubbish!"

She went on: “We have water in public ownership in Scotland unlike the disaster south of Border where 19 water companies, most owned by foreign companies, have reduced your rivers to a slew of sewage.

“We have the best performing A&E departments in the whole of the UK. We have less privatisation in health and glory be for that.

"We have had no strikes in the health sector. No strikes last year in the sphere of transport and rail.

"So, of course things are not going beautifully. But there’s plenty of progress that the people of Scotland – and here’s a small point, if Andrew cared to come and live here, he might realise people actually like this so called collectivist agenda because solidarity between people and having a public realm is what makes life worth living for most people."