ANAS Sarwar has accused the First Minister of falling into “Green extremism” and emulating Nicola Sturgeon before the Programme for Government (PfG) has been published.

The Scottish Labour leader said that Humza Yousaf’s PfG “lacks ideas” ahead of the FM’s statement to Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has previously accused Yousaf of being in the thrall to “extremist-left Greens”, as has Bute House critic and SNP MSP Fergus Ewing.

READ MORE: LIVE - Humza Yousaf to unveil Programme for Government in Holyrood

Yousaf is expected to set out a sweeping policy agenda covering childcare, introducing a four-day working week pilot for civil servants, a pro-growth business programme and other issues that the Scottish Government will focus on in the next year, such as tackling child poverty.

The PfG is also understood to include support for breakfast and after-school clubs and potential further expansion of free childcare.

But ahead of the official announcement and confirmation of such policies by the FM, Sarwar attacked Yousaf’s leadership and said he was the “continuity candidate” for Sturgeon and using policies similar to those unveiled during her tenure as first minister.

He accused the FM of being “inconsistent” and trying to do “Greens-style extremism” as well as pursuing “Alex Salmond-style economic policy”.

The National: Humza Yousaf with Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater after his election victory Image: SNP/Scottish Greens

Speaking to the PA news agency in Rutherglen on Tuesday morning, Sarwar said: “I think he (Yousaf) is trying to do Greens-style extremism, whilst also trying to do Nicola Sturgeon-style social policy, whilst also trying to do Alex Salmond-style economic policy.

“All three of which are inconsistent.

“I think it shows a leader that has no central purpose, no clear idea, no ultimate vision for the country, and he’s looking around for individual ideas to try and pass time to try and solidify his own leadership.

“I think it’s clear the SNP has lost its way, they can’t run away from the fact that they have a record of failure.”

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Sarwar was in Rutherglen launching Labour’s campaign in the by-election seat for the second time after the SNP moved the writ to allow the ballot to go ahead, with the poll expected to be taken in October.

Speaking to journalists, Sarwar added: “Humza Yousaf, who is the continuity candidate, can’t run away from it, and I think all of this goes to prove that this country needs change. This isn’t as good as it gets.

“I think it’s abundantly clear that he lacks a central vision, that he lacks a central mission, and his government doesn’t have any clear direction.

“And instead, you have individual bits of policy – some of which I think are well meaning and we would support – but it lacks a coherent plan of how we’re going to take Scotland forward.

The National: From left: Labour's Anas Sarwar, leader Keir Starmer, and Michael Shanks

“I think it’s clear for everyone to see that this is a downgrade and [he’s] a perfectly nice guy, but he’s not up to the job.”

Ahead of his speech in Holyrood, Yousaf addressed the financial constraints facing the Scottish Government as he looks to set out his priorities for the year ahead.

He told journalists during a visit to a school in Dundee on Monday: “There’ll definitely be some initiatives that I hope will demonstrate the direction I want to take the Government, but there’s no getting away from the scale of the public finances and the challenge that we face in relation to those public finances.

“It’s the most difficult time, certainly I’ve ever seen for the public finances, and I’ve been in Government for 11 years.

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“We know because of the disaster if the mini budget last year from the UK Government that public finances are not just going to be constrained for the year ahead, but I’m afraid for probably many years to come.”

A £1 billion black hole in the public finances is expected in next year's budget, amid years of Westminster Tory cuts to the Scottish Government budget, rising inflation and a number of public sector pay rises to meet demands and avert strikes.