SNP depute leader Keith Brown has indicated that he would support a debate on the Bute House Agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens at his party’s upcoming conference.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Tuesday, Brown added that he still strongly backs the deal.

He said: “The SNP has a process by which things can be considered and I support that process.

He added: “If people want to have that discussion, then if that gets on to the agenda then of course I would support that debate, but that is a process that has to be gone through.

“My own personal view is that we had a very comprehensive vote in favour of that Bute House Agreement and I remain very strongly in favour of that Bute House Agreement.

“But of course, if a motion comes forward and if it’s supported, then we should have that debate.”

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An article in The Herald on Sunday suggested a number of backbench MSPs were unhappy with the current arrangement, with one MSP telling the newspaper the Greens were “killing us”.

A number of other high-profile figures have also spoken out, including former finance secretary Kate Forbes, who suggested the SNP should “check-in”with members about the content of the deal while MP Joanna Cherry has said she would like to see the agreement renegotiated.

Fergus Ewing (below), one of the most vocal critics of the deal, said that now is the right time for members to have their say.

The National: Fergus Ewing is an SNP MSP but has frequently rebelled against the party line

He said the Scottish public “increasingly see the Scottish Greens as hard-left extremists” and that they are “seen as primarily responsible for a whole series of policy disasters over the last two years”.

Brown said Ewing’s characterisation of the Greens as “hard-left extremists” was “absurd”.

He added: “The SNP wouldn’t be in coalition with anyone described as extremists.”

In his appearance, Brown also condemned personal abuse that has been directed at politicians – including himself – throughout the debate surrounding the Gender Recognition Act.

He told the programme: “I have always tried to take a very straightforward approach and I’m not involved in abusing or calling anybody names in what I understand is a controversial issue.

“It was voted on by a vast majority of people in the Scottish Parliament and I stand by that vote.

“I do agree there should be no place for personal abuse. I have been subjected to abuse for my own views but I don’t agree it’s right to indulge in personal abuse. People should have the right to have their say without having to suffer that kind of personal abuse.”