Kate Forbes has suggested she could have another run at the SNP leadership bid.

The former finance secretary, who narrowly lost out to Humza Yousaf earlier this year, told the Irish Times: “Never say never.”

During the leadership contest against Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan, Ms Forbes said it was “highly highly unlikely” that she would try again if she lost.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes says she 'dodged a bullet' by losing SNP leadership race

Mr Yousaf won the race by 52% to 48% against Ms Forbes on the final count but his time in Bute House been overshadowed ever since by SNP scandal and infighting.

The early weeks of his premiership were derailed by the arrests of senior SNP figures, including Nicola Sturgeon and her husband, former party chief executive Peter Murrell.

Both were released without charge, pending further investigation.

Police are looking into how £660,000 specifically raised for a second referendum was spent.

The SNP has seen their support in the polls slump.

Ms Forbes told the Irish Times: “It's been pretty tough. Fair play to Humza Yousaf. I think it would have been difficult for anybody.

“It's difficult to set out your vision when you're trying to manage these extraordinarily challenging situations, which you're not in control of. But that's not to say that I wouldn't have given it my best shot had I won.'

Asked if she would go for the leadership again if it was available, she said: “Never say never.”

Elsewhere, Ms Forbes told the West Highland Free Press she was “incredibly reluctant” to stand again but added: “The only reason I would not say never is: who can control the way circumstances unfold?

"The membership made their decision and I am not sore about it.

"I respect democracy. The only thing that exercises me is that I think it is high time we had a Highlander at the helm.”

READ MORE: Patrick Harvie says Fergus Ewing not bright as war of words continues

During this year's leadership contest, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch's campaign got off a rocky start, after Ms Forbes - a member of the socially conservative Free Church of Scotland – said she would not have voted for gay marriage had she been in parliament at the time.

The comments led to her losing support from key backers.