Alex Salmond has called on Humza Yousaf to end the SNP's coalition deal with the Greens, as he accused Patrick Harvie of saying "fundamentally stupid things."

In an interview with broadcaster Iain Dale at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the former first minister said the junior partners in the Bute House Agreement, were getting in the way of competent government. 

He urged his successor to govern as a minority. 

“Given that the Greens have only two ministers, about 10% of the government, they’ve supplied a lot more than 10% of the problems the government has been seeing,” Mr Salmond said.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond will be sad if he and Nicola Sturgeon never talk again

The ex-SNP leader said the chaos surrounding the Deposit Return Scheme and last week’s row over heat pumps with businessman Willie Haughey illustrated his point.

Mr Harvie has outlined a number of potential measures to try and encourage homeowners to invest in greener technology in a bid to help Scotland reach its 2045 net zero target.

These include a shake-up of energy efficiency standards which penalises homes with fossil fuel boilers rather than heat pumps.

After the Labour peer - who made part of his £265 million fortune selling heat pumps - questioned the plans, Mr Harvie accused him of installing “cheap kit”

Lord Haughey said the Green had made the row “personal”.

Mr Salmond told the finge show: “In terms of party management, I really am relaxed in terms of people having different opinions. Usually, it doesn’t matter very much.

“But if you’ve got ministers who say fundamentally stupid things, as Patrick Harvie was guilty of last week – he regaled against Lord Haughey … he knows a bit or two about heating homes and insulations, it’s been his business for the last forty years.

“For a government minister to go and say ‘oh he sells cheap equipment’ or whatever Patrick Harvie invented at the moment … “Governments shouldn’t be insulting leading industrialists in Scotland for no reason whatsoever.

"They should just have a bit of humility that it might be possible that somebody in the country knows a bit more of their subject than Patrick Harvie does.”

Mr Salmond suggested the First Minister should run a minority government similar to the one he led between 2007 and 2011.

READ MORE: Harvie urged to halt heat pumps strategy and back electric boilers

“If he would take my advice he would start by ending the coalition with the Greens. Not because I hate the Green party or green policies but because it’s causing difficulties in the coalition.”

During the wide-ranging chat in front of an audience at the EICC, the ex-SNP leader also set out how Alba, could win 24 MSPs at the next Holyrood election, and form a “key part” in an independence coalition in the Scottish Parliament.

While the party performed poorly at the two elections since it was formed in early 2021, Mr Salmond said he was confident. He told the crowd that “these things take time.”


Mr Salmond continued: “The target for Alba is to get 15% of the vote on the regional list vote, that will get us about 24 seats.

“And if the cards fall correctly we will be able to be a key part of an independence coalition in that Parliament.”

That coalition should then proceed “in terms of seeking a mandate to negotiate independence”, Mr Salmond said, saying that the “the referendum route has been blocked, partly due to the tactics employed by Nicola”.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf orders review of credit card spending after £14m row

He said he would have “something to contribute” to the fight for Scottish independence, as long as voters wanted him around.

Mr Salmond said: “In terms of independence strategy I feel I have something to contribute. I did provide a way for Scotland to vote on independence – for many, many years, that had proved impossible.

“The vote didn’t go the way I wanted it to but at least we had the mechanism for people to exercise the right of self determination, and I think I could help contribute to that again.”

The Scottish Greens have been approached for comment.