John Swinney says SNP can 'probably' work with Unionist parties in Holyrood

John Swinney has said the SNP can "probably" come to agreements with Unionist parties in Holyrood.

The veteran MSP is almost definitely going to become SNP leader after Humza Yousaf resigned last week.

Yousaf had to resign after he lost the confidence of the Greens for ending the Bute House Agreement.

The SNP will now need to attempt to run a minority government, which means it will rely on votes from opposition parties to pass bills.

A Labour motion to bring down the Government failed last week. The Lib Dems, Tories and Alba's Ash Regan supported it, but the Greens did not

Swinney was asked on BBC Scotland's The Sunday Show if he could get agreements with anybody other than the Greens.

He replied: "I think we probably can do. I saw it just the other week there, for example.

"The Government was taking forward legislation about 'Keeping the Promise': about making sure that we deliver for children who have experience of care.

"And I saw our minister Natalie Don who was taking that bill through, reach agreements with, for example, Labour and Liberal Democrat members about the amendments to that bill."

When asked if opposition parties would help pass a budget, Swinney said: "I don't see why we should rule that out.

"In the past I had Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative, Green support for budgets."

When it was suggested to him that opposition parties wouldn't work with the SNP to pass budgets, Swinney said: "Well, bluntly, if that's their view, that's their problem.

"But that won't pay teachers, that won't pay nurses, it won't make sure we can get operations done in our hospitals.

"Because if you don't pass a budget, you can't fund your public services."

He added: "So a budget process puts a responsibility and obligation on everybody, not just the government.

"I accept that the Government's got to act differently, to try and get people onboard."

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