SNP's power-sharing agreement has 'served its purpose', Humza Yousaf says, as he scraps deal with Scottish Greens

The SNP has terminated its power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens following a bitter row over its climbdown on climate targets.

It comes after First Minister Humza Yousaf summoned an emergency meeting of his Cabinet - usually held on a Tuesday - this morning, following speculation over the future of the Holyrood deal, first struck by his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon.

Speaking at a press conference convened on Thursday, Mr Yousaf said the benefits of his party's deal with the Greens had hitherto "outweighed the compromises" and delivered a "number of successes" - but that the balance had now "shifted".

"The agreement was intended to provide stability to Scottish government, and it has made possible a number of achievements, but it has served its purpose," he said.

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The first minister said he hoped to pursue a "less formal" agreement with his former partners and heralded what he called a "new beginning" for the SNP, saying his decision showed "leadership".

SNP 'selling our future generations'

His warm words about the Bute House agreement - which he previously described as "worth its weight in gold" - struck a different tone to Green co-leader Lorna Slater, who accused the SNP of "political cowardice".

"This is an act of political cowardice by the SNP, who are selling out future generations to appease the most reactionary forces in the country," she said.

"They have broken the bonds of trust with members of both parties who have twice chosen the co-operation agreement and climate action over chaos, culture wars and division. They have betrayed the electorate."

She added: "And by ending the agreement in such a weak and thoroughly hopeless way, Humza Yousaf has signalled that when it comes to political cooperation, he can no longer be trusted."

The power-sharing deal, reached in 2021, was designed to facilitate governing between the two pro-independence parties in Holyrood and brought the Greens into government for the first time anywhere in the UK.

Named after the first minister's official residence in Edinburgh, it gave the SNP a majority in the Scottish parliament when its votes were combined with those of the seven Green MSPs and created ministerial posts for Ms Slater and Patrick Harvie, her co-leader.

But signs the agreement was running into difficulty came after the Scottish government scrapped its commitment to cut emissions by 75% by 2030.

The climbdown also came on the same day that the prescription of puberty blockers for new patients under the age of 18 at a Glasgow gender identity service would be paused.

As well as the watering down of climate targets, the Greens were also dismayed at the pause of puberty blockers in the wake of the landmark Cass review into the landmark Cass review of gender services for under-18s in England and Wales.

It means Mr Yousaf's administration will now run a minority government at Holyrood - which he said would be "hard, it will be tough, there's no doubt about that".

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Last week the Greens said it would hold a vote for its members on the future of the Bute House agreement and Mr Harvie urged members to back it so the party could "put Green values into practice" in government.

But in the statement released today, Ms Slater said Green members were now not going to have a "democratic say", adding: "If they can't stand up to members of their own party, how can anyone expect them to stand up to the UK government at Westminster and defend the interests of Scotland?"

Craig Hoy, the chair of the Scottish Conservatives, said the collapse of this "toxic coalition is an utter humiliation for Humza Yousaf" and "highlights once again how inept and out of his depth he is".