HUMZA Yousaf has brutally dismissed the prospect of a challenge to his leadership of the SNP, saying he is just “not bothered about it”. 

The First Minister said: “There's plenty of things I've got to concern myself about as FM, this is not one of them.”

Chris Hanlon, secretary of the West Fife & Coastal Villages SNP branch, is seeking nominations to stand against Mr Yousaf at the party’s annual conference in October.

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He suggested the leadership spent “too much time pontificating” and not enough pursuing independence and  implementing party policy.

“The job of party leader is to implement party policy, all of party policy and nothing but party policy,” he said earlier this week, while adding he had yet to decide whether to run or not.

He requires 100 nominations from 20 branches to be able to mount a challenge.

Mr Yousaf, who narrowly became SNP leader in March after a bruising contest following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon, was asked about the subject this morning.

Visiting the Heavy Sound community project for vulnerable young people in Cockenzie, East Lothian, Mr Yousaf was asked for his response to the potential leadership challenge.

He said: “I’m not bothered about it.”

Asked if he would welcome a challenge, he said: “I don't think anybody in the SNP would want to go through another leadership contest.

“There's plenty of things I've got to concern myself about as FM, this is not one of them.”

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Mr Yousaf defeated Kate Forbes for the party leadership by 52% to 48% on the final vote count after Ash Regan was eliminated in third place.

An SNP source said: "Every member has a right to put themselves forward for party positions, no matter the odds."