A special meeting to discuss whether Fergus Ewing should be suspended from the SNP group at Holyrood has been postponed.

The party's MSPs were due to meet tomorrow evening to see what, if any, sanction Mr Ewing should face.

However, it is understood a decision was made to put off the meeting as Mr Ewing had contracted Covid and could not attend in person.

SNP MSPs were told of the delay at their regular group meeting in Holyrood today.

READ MORE: SNP MSP says it is 'unwise and unnecessary' to suspend Fergus Ewing

It is understood the meeting may take place on Wednesday next week if Mr Ewing is better, but no date has yet been confirmed.

"Fergus's team got in touch to say he has Covid and wouldn't be able to attend," a source told The Herald.

"The group felt it would be appropriate to make provisions so he could be in attendance, that would be the courteous thing to do.

"Some reports say the meeting will now be next week but that has yet to be confirmed. It all depends on Fergus."

READ MORE: Fergus Ewing shows no sign of backing down before showdown

The former minister turned rebel is facing a short suspension from the group for supporting a Conservative motion of no confidence in the circular economy minister and Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater in June over her handling of the deposit return scheme.

SNP MSPs need to vote by a two thirds majority for any member to have the whip withdrawn.

Last week members of the group were told there would be a three-line whip to attend the meeting this Wednesday, meaning that attendance is compulsory though it would be up to members to decide how they want to vote should there be a proposal to suspend Mr Ewing. Mr Yousaf would not have been at the meeting as he is in New York City for climate week.

However, should the meeting be held on Wednesday next week it is thought Mr Yousaf would be able to attend.

There are different views in the group on whether Mr Ewing should be suspended.

Former leadership contender Kate Forbes said last week the Inverness and Nairn MSP is "much loved" and communities will draw conclusions about the party if he is treated harshly as she appeared to warn her colleagues about the repercussions of suspending Mr Ewing.

Ms Forbes' campaign manager Michelle Thomson, the SNP MSP for Falkirk East, also intervened saying it would be "unwise and unnecessary" to suspend Mr Ewing from the party.

Earlier this month the First Minister described the no confidence motion disciplinary issue against Mr Ewing as "very serious".

Speaking to the Record, he said: “It was a very serious matter indeed. And there was, I think, understandable reasons why the group chose not to deal with internal party discipline matters at the end of the parliamentary term, but clearly the group may want to pick those matters up when they return."

Mr Ewing is one of Scotland's highest profile backbenchers was awarded an "MSP of the year" title at a political magazine's ceremony earlier this month.

Since debate has intensified over whether he will be suspended, he has continued to be critical of the Scottish Government policy voting with the Tories against a new licensing regime for short-term lets last Tuesday.

Last week The Times reported that SNP whips will push for Mr Ewing to be suspended for one week.

The Herald had earlier been told that the Inverness MSP had been facing a "short suspension" of a "few weeks".

However, it is understood that the length of time may have  been reviewed with the leadership in favour of a "light touch" approach.

“They know that anything too extreme would be rebelled against,” one MSP told The Times.

“There has been a bit of pushback,” a separate source said.