Former leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale labelled the SNP and Scottish Greens cooperation talks a publicity move. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Government was discussing a possible cooperation agreement with the Greens earlier this week. 

The deal could see Green MSPs entering the Scottish Government as ministers. 

Ms Sturgeon referred to the move as "potentially groundbreaking" and stressed "we are setting no limits on our ambition".

Speaking exclusively on the latest episode of The Brian Taylor Podcast, Ms Dugdale claimed there were three clear reasons for the agreement. 

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon in talks with Greens over 'groundbreaking' cooperation deal

She said: "I was baffled by this, I just didn't get it. Why on earth would the SNP want to deal with the Greens, why would they need to?

"Why would the Greens sign up for that? Whenever you see smaller parties in cooperation agreements they get a kicking in the next election it didn't make sense to me."

However, the former Scottish Labour leader believes it boils down to the Budget, New Zealand style collective responsibility and "great" PR ahead of COP26. 

Ms Dugdale said: "I don't think we can ignore the fact this is going to look very sweet ahead of Cop26." 

She emphasised the importance of the agreement for the SNP is for the budget: "This is about moving away from the Greens influence only being at Budget time because what a cooperation agreement would do if it follows the New Zealand example is say that the Greens cannot vote against the budget.

"They don't have to vote for it but they cannot vote against it and abstaining is enough for a Budget to pass.

"The advantage for the Greens is that they can have more than one moment in a political year and they can also spread that influence across a couple of directorates or policy areas that they choose to work on. And I know I am right because Ross getting really shifty in his seat now."

READ MORE: SNP refuse to back down over income tax in governing talks with Greens

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer responded that he was nodding "enthusiastically" to her argument. 

Addressing the second reason for the deal, Ms Dugdale added:  "People go surely that means the Greens will have to vote for everything if they sign up in some part.

"No, in New Zealand collective responsibility only applies to the areas where you agree to cooperate."

While she acknowledged the public relations aspect of the deal is not the only reason for it she added: "We are ahead of COP. This is great PR. It looks good."

Speaking of the deal, Mr Greer said: "Climate is the area which we will be the SNP to move quite significantly from what their record has been so far.

"We wouldn't have got to this stage though if we thought there was no chance of them doing that. The early indications are they are willing to move." 

In the latest episode Brian is joined by  former leader of Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale, SNP MSP Rona Mackay, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer and former Conservative adviser and director of Message Matters Andy Maciver.