Fergus Ewing has warned Humza Yousaf to end the SNP's Holyrood co-operation deal with the Scottish Greens before the general election campaign gets fully underway.

The former rural affairs secretary made his comments in an article in today's Herald arguing the smaller party was standing candidates against the SNP in many seats at the poll, expected later this year.

His intervention follows attacks by the Greens and the SNP on each other as the parties head toward the Westminster election.

Mr Ewing also noted that the Greens were telling voters not to support the SNP, publicly attacking the SNP and suggesting they were open to a pact with Labour in Holyrood.

READ MORE: Fergus Ewing: Cornerstone of Bute House deal has crumbled

The long serving SNP MSP for Inverness and Nairn, said the trust needed to maintain the Bute House Agreement between the two parties had broken down and that this "cornerstone" of the deal "has crumbled".

"The cooperation agreement with the Greens stipulates that its 'cornerstone' is 'mutual trust and good faith'", he said in his article in The Herald.  

"It’s clear from recent blistering attacks by Green MSPs, including [Ross] Greer, [Lorna] Slater and [Patrick] Harvie upon the SNP government, that this trust has broken down and good faith, if it ever existed, is no longer.    

"The cornerstone of the Bute House deal has crumbled. It’s now time the Bute House agreement is given the boot - and that boot must be applied before the UK General Election."   

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He added: "At in that imminent election, our Green 'partners' are now even urging voters not to vote SNP.  They are contesting seats against us, which will cost several of our MPs their seats.

"Independence has been quietly dropped from their agenda. The Greens are cosying up to Labour. How can we continue to be partners with a party whose leaders routinely abuse us? As Humza heaps praise on them, they express contempt for us....Before the UK General Election campaign begins in earnest, Humza surely must extricate the party from this Faustian Pact with a small group of self confessed extremists."  

The Herald: Fergus Ewing and Lorna SlaterFergus Ewing supported a no confidence vote in Lorna Slater over her handling of the deposit return scheme. 

Mr Ewing is a prominent critic of the Bute House Agreement and the Greens describing the party's MSPs as "wine bar revolutionaries" in April last year as he criticised both them and the Scottish Government over their plans for a transition away from oil and gas.

He has also repeatedly attacked policies championed by the Greens which the SNP advanced under former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon which have since been shelved.

The stalled proposals include the recycling deposit return scheme (DRS), gender recognition reform, and plans to restrict fishing off coastal communities. He was suspended by the SNP for a week last autumn for supporting a no confidence motion in Ms Slater over her handling of the DRS.

He has also been critical of ongoing policies including heat in buildings plans which sets deadlines requiring householders and businesses to remove fossil fuel heating appliances from properties to meet climate change targets.

READ MORE: Ewing attacks Slater after suggestions of future Labour deal

Mr Ewing continued: "This dire deal is destroying the party as more and more people and key parts of the economy are the object of the Greens bilious and haughty disdain: sectors including oil and gas, private housing rental, mortgage finance and investment, fishing, farming for our food, aquaculture, productive forestry, the chemical industry and tourism.    

"The Greens so-called 'policies' would eradicate these industries and eliminate the jobs of hundreds of thousands of smart decent hard working people all round the country and all of whom serve Scotland well....Message to Humza:  “Sorry mate: Failing to terminate this dreadful deal is political insanity and electoral suicide.” 

The Herald: The Bute House Agreement was signed in August 2021 and Humza Yousaf recommitting to it when he became First Minister in March last year.  Photo PA.

Mr Ewing made his fresh demands for the Bute House Agreement to end after the Scottish Greens urged people not to vote for the SNP at the next general election, accusing Mr Yousaf’s party of being “unwilling to step up when needed to protect our common future.”

The blistering attack on their partners in the Scottish Government came after Mr Yousaf claimed a vote for Mr Harvie and Ms Slater’s party would be “wasted".

Over the weekend, the Scottish Greens revealed that they had selected 32 candidates for the looming election, up from the 22 fielded in 2019.

On Sunday, Mr Harvie insisted that there would be no electoral pact with the SNP and that he would not be having “those kind of conversations” with the First Minister.

Speaking to The National, Mr Yousaf said he had a “great amount of time” for the Scottish Greens but said a vote for the party would be a waste.

“Of course they're partners of ours in government, but in a Westminster election, particularly when we're facing a challenge from Labour, the danger of voting Greens – who are not going to win a single seat in the General Election in Scotland, I think they would be the first to admit that – is that would be a wasted vote," he said.

"If you want to advance the cause of independence, if you want a party that aligns with your values – whether that's social justice or on the climate or the wellbeing economy – then the SNP is the party that you need to be voting for.”

Responding last night to Mr Ewing's comment, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer hit back to mock the SNP MSP, arguing there was nothing in the Bute House Agreement which prevented the two parties from challenging one another at elections.

"Mr Ewing's odd fixation with the Scottish Greens clearly isn’t fading. He really must find a hobby less harmful to his blood pressure," he said.

“Any high school Modern Studies pupil could tell you that the Scottish Government and UK Parliament are different institutions.

"Perhaps Mr Ewing should spend some time reading the Scotland Act rather than continue this constant whining about the Bute House Agreement."

He added: "If he’s read the Agreement and thought it covers Westminster elections, then I’d suggest he’s owed a refund from that expensive private school he attended. Reading comprehension skills this poor would see him fail a National 5 English exam these days.

“We’re proud to give more people than ever before the chance to vote for the Scottish Greens and for a fairer, greener Scotland. People and planet don't have time to waste on parties unwilling to take bold climate action.

“Every vote for the Scottish Greens sends the strongest possible message to Westminster, that Scotland demands urgent action on the climate and nature emergencies.”

An SNP Spokesperson: “SNP members voted overwhelmingly to support the Bute House Agreement in 2021, and voted to elect First Minister Humza Yousaf as party leader, who stood on a platform endorsing the arrangement with the Greens, which reinforces the pro-independence majority at Holyrood.

“Suppport for the Bute House Agreement has delivered results such as securing a better deal for tenants, accelerating Scotland’s progress to Net Zero, and launching free bus travel for under 22-year olds.”