A MOTION which could see Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater forced out of their roles as co-leaders of the Scottish Greens is to be voted on by party members later this month.

The two politicians became ministers in Nicola Sturgeon's government in August last year after striking a power-sharing agreement with the SNP at Holyrood.

But under a motion the party's members will be given the opportunity to vote on proposals that would split its leadership from any ministerial roles.

The bid by party members was seen as evidence of some tensions among the grassroots following the signing of the Bute House Agreement with the SNP.

The deal put the Scottish Greens into government with the SNP in an arrangement short of a coalition and handed Mr Harvie and Ms Slater junior ministerial positions allowing them to directly influence policy.

In return, Green MSPs have to support the Scottish Government on key votes including on the budget and on any confidence motions.

The pact also set out out a shared policy programme which the SNP and Scottish Greens agreed to make progress on during the current parliament.

It also established six excluded areas - aviation policy, economic growth, that an independent Scotland should become a member of Nato, field sports such as hunting, the legal status and regulation of selling sex and the role of fee-paying independent schools in Scottish education.

MSPs from each party are free to publicly disagree with one another on policies excluded from the co-operation agreement, but not on areas in the deal.

The motion would prohibit any active government minister from holding a "major officer position" within the Scottish Greens.

Any person holding such a position who is then appointed as a government minister would be forced to vacate their party role by the next general meeting.

The motion states activists hope to "emulate our highly successful sister party in Germany, Alliance90/the Greens, by separating party leadership positions from ministerial offices".

It adds: "This model allows ministers to focus on the considerable work involved in running government departments. The separation of these roles also allows the party's major officers to openly disagree with the government, where appropriate.

"This gives party members a greater voice on issues of concern, on policies that may be added to the excluded areas of the cooperation agreement and allows party officers to better focus on their constitutional roles."

The motion, was accepted by the Scottish Greens standing orders committee so as a constitutional matter, and was originally due to be heard on October 13 at the party's annual general meeting ahead of its conference in Dundee.

However, it was not heard with party sources saying it was delayed because of a busy agenda for the meeting. It will instead be heard at the party's extraordinary general meeting on November 26.

The meeting is due to take place online with around 150 members expected to attend.

Scottish Greens MSPs Gillian Mackay and Ross Greer were quizzed by members last month at their conference about the party’s ability to challenge the SNP during a question and answer session on the Bute House Agreement.

They were asked about a wide range of areas including independence, health, climate change and local government taxation.