A SCOTTISH Government minister has warned SNP insiders against giving “secret wee quotes” to the media as the party stresses unity following Humza Yousaf’s resignation.

In response to a story published by The National, which saw a senior SNP source tell a journalist at The Independent that there was a “succession plan” in place to prevent Kate Forbes ever becoming leader, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, said that calls for unity applied to everyone within the SNP.

The source also claimed that Stephen Flynn is being lined up as the “long-term option” to become SNP leader.

However, Somerville said that such speculation from anonymous party sources in newspapers needed to stop.

In a post on X/Twitter, she said: “A message for any genuine ‘senior sources’ that briefed for this (and I do have my doubts about these unattributable quotes sometimes).

“That call for unity meant you too. Stop your secret wee quotes and get on with organising a canvassing session. Thanks.”

It comes after Forbes decided not to run for the SNP leadership following Yousaf’s resignation leaving John Swinney as the presumptive next leader of the SNP and first minister.

Following Forbes’s decision not to stand, Swinney said he would be concentrating on unifying the party.

“The SNP is in a difficult position just now,” he told ITV Border.

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“It's not as cohesive as it needs to be.

"It needs to be brought back together again and I think I've got the skills and the attributes to make sure that can happen."

He added that he would be seeking to give Forbes the opportunity to contribute to the work of his government.

“We have many talented people leading the work of the Scottish government,” he said.

“I want Kate Forbes to play a significant part in that team”.