ASH Regan has lashed out at Nicola Sturgeon's strategy to tackle the climate crisis as the leadership candidate moved to distance herself form the First Minister.

Ms Regan, who is yet to formally launch her SNP leadership bid, has hit out at the Scottish Government's commitments to accelerate the move away form oil and gas in order to protect the climate, as well as plans to ditch dualling of crucial roads.

Ms Sturgeon's government published its delayed energy strategy last month, which will investigate whether the winding down of the North Sea oil and gas sector could be accelerated in order to push forward action to tackle the climate crisis and Scotland's legal net zero ambitions.

The Scottish Government plans include a just transition strategy for the oil and gas workforce to ensure workers are moved into other skilled jobs, particularly in the energy sector.

Read more: SNP leadership: Who is Ash Regan and where she stands on key issues

Writing on Twitter, Ms Regan said: "I will not support an accelerated net zero path which sees us turn off the North Sea taps, throw tens of 1000s of oil workers out of jobs, hollow out NE & H&I communities whist still using and importing hydrocarbons.

She added that dualling of the A9 "must be accelerated", while upgrading the A96 "must commence without delay".