FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf appeared to name two MSPs who are out to take Douglas Ross’s job at the head of the Scottish Conservatives during a heated exchange at Holyrood.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Yousaf took aim at Ross after he levelled accusations of “losing grip” over his party at the SNP leader.

Yousaf said: “For Douglas Ross to stand there and talk about losing grip of a party when … the Conservatives have had the longest attempted coup in Scottish political history.

“Why doesn’t Jamie Greene, or Liam Kerr, just stand up and put Douglas Ross out of his misery?”

Yousaf went on: “It’s hardly a surprise that Douglas Ross talks about losing grip on a political party. Even he has lost faith in his own political party. He spent the entire Easter recess urging his supporters to vote for the Scottish Labour party.”

The naming of the two Tory MSPs, Greene and Kerr, is sure to get tongues wagging at Holyrood after months of sporadic reports that there are two factions within the Scottish Conservative party looking to oust Ross as leader.

A Holyrood staffer told The National: "The whispers in Holyrood are that Greene and Kerr spent the weekend of Tory conference getting their backers in line before a coup to oust Ross.

"Tory MSPs and MPs are apparently furious at the tactical voting comments and Ross' performances at FMQs."

In October 2022, reports said the Moray MP was facing “at least” two separate challenges to his position as Tory leader.

And in April, reports again surfaced of Conservative MSPs questioning whether Ross was the right person to lead them forward after he suggested people should back Labour if that party had a better chance than the Tories of beating the SNP in their area.

The Scotsman reported there was “serious anger” among the Tory Holyrood group after their leader’s comments.

Ross previously challenged any potential successors to come forward and name themselves, something they have not done.