Kate Forbes has suggested the SNP leadership should “check-in” with members about the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens.

The ex-finance secretary said there were discussions to be had about the content of the deal that brought the Greens into government and saw Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater given ministerial positions.

She is now the third former minister to call for some form of vote or debate on the power-sharing arrangement at the party’s conference.

Last week both Fergus Ewing and Alex Neil both said members should have a say when they gather in Aberdeen in October.

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The Bute House Agreement gives the SNP a parliamentary majority to help them push through legislation and protect them from votes of no confidence.

As part of the deal, there is a joint policy platform covering a wide range of areas, including independence, housing, transport and tackling climate change.

It was backed by around 95% of SNP members.

Mr Ewing said that activists had backed the Bute House Agreement in 2021 without realising "the full enormity of dealing with these extremists."

A poll published in April found that support for the deal among SNP members was at 53%, while 35% wanted it to end.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Ms Forbes was asked if she thought the Bute House Agreement could damage the efforts being made to grow the economy in her Highlands constituency, because of issues like HPMAs and the Scottish Government’s abject failure to dual the A9.

The ex-leadership hopeful said she was confident the Scottish Government was listening.

“If we've seen anything over the last few months, I think you've seen Humza, Yousaf, as First Minister and his government, pivoting and choosing to listen to people. And certainly the feedback I'm getting from businesses is that they recognise as the government is trying to do the right thing by them.”

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Asked if she still supported the agreement and backed a vote, she replied, “Well, I'm a democrat, so I'm always in favour of checking in with the people, checking in with members - and that's the purpose of conference - to ensure that they are continuing to support certain policies.

“And I think government has a duty to its party, obviously, to ensure that we are delivering in a way that's consistent with the membership's interests.”

Asked how she would vote, she replied: “Well, I think what's critical for me is not just the Bute Huse Agreement, but the substance of it. Now, the Bute House Agreement, for example, includes a commitment to HPMAs, and we've seen the government shift from HPMAs, it includes a commitment to the Deposit Return Scheme, and we've seen a shift away from the Deposit Return Scheme.

“So I think just asking ideologically about an agreement is less important than asking what should be in that agreement. Cooperation should always characterise our politics.”

Asked if the Bute House Agreement was getting in the way of the dualling of the A9, Ms Forbes said: “I drive that road on almost daily basis. I think that should be a commitment that is graven on stone, in terms of its vital importance to be delivered. And for me, it is the red line, it needs to be delivered. And anything that compromises that commitment would be a concern for me.”

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Appearing on the programme later on, Wellbeing Economy minister Neil Gray said: “Obviously, 95% of SNP members agreed that this was the right thing to do when the Bute House Agreement was instituted.“

He added: “It has given us parliamentary stability, it has meant that we're able to get on with the Programme for Government that we have, and I'm looking forward to the First Minister's Programme for Government coming forward in September.

“There are always going to be challenges around agreements and parties working together because there are going to be things that you agree on in the Bute House Agreement, there are going to be things that we disagree on.

“And obviously there are going to be colleagues that sometimes feel uncomfortable with things that are being taken forward.

“But I think it is a useful thing for parties to be continually challenged and pushed to go further on.”