Scottish Green Party co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie will be nominated for ministerial posts if a co-operation agreement with the Scottish Government is approved.
Party members will vote on Saturday on the draft deal announced last week, which was negotiated over the summer after the SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in May’s election.
The move, which has already been backed by the SNP national executive committee, would see Greens enter government for the first time anywhere in the UK.
A shared policy platform was published which the two sides agreed to support, with the Greens also pledging to back the Scottish Government in confidence votes and annual budgets – if they have sufficient input into the process.
One minister would be charged with delivering plans to decarbonise transport, homes and buildings, as well as a new deal for tenants.
The other will focus on green skills, industries like energy, and restoring the natural environment.
Slater said: “The time has come for Scotland to step up efforts to decarbonise our economy and invest in a greener, independent future.
“The cooperation agreement we’ve negotiated would put Greens at the heart of decision making at this crucial time and if our members endorse it then I look forward to driving change in government.”
Green members have final say
Full details regarding the ministerial briefs will be confirmed by the Scottish Government next week should the deal be ratified by the two parties.
Green members will be given the final say on the agreement on Saturday, with the party’s internal rules stating that if the membership rejects it, it cannot go ahead.
Harvie said: “With Greens in government we would be able to deliver positive change like tackling Scotland’s emissions, protecting nature, advancing tenants’ rights. bringing forward overdue equalities legislation and delivering an independence referendum.
“I am proud of our vibrant party democracy and look forward to discussing and debating this deal with members on Saturday and if they back it, they can be assured that we’ll waste no time getting to work to deliver on this transformative agenda.”
Commentators in New Zealand sound warning for Greens deal with SNP
Earlier this week, Nicola Sturgeon said of the co-operation deal: “The degree of enthusiasm for this is really quite tangible.
“I think there’s a recognition that there’s big, transformational things we want to do over this term of the Scottish Parliament.
“Therefore to give us a stable majority, but also to do politics differently and better.
“To focus on areas of agreement between political parties rather than the polarised, divided approach to politics that sometimes characterises debate right now, not just in Scotland but across the world.”
Opposition to deal
The Scottish Conservatives have again voiced their opposition to the deal, describing the Green co-leaders as “extremists”.
Tory Covid recovery spokesman Murdo Fraser said: “Nicola Sturgeon is handing extremists key positions in Government. The more details that emerge, the worse this nationalist coalition of chaos looks for hardworking families and workers across Scotland.
“MSPs who don’t believe in economic growth, who actively want to limit Scotland’s economy, are apparently going to be Government ministers.
“Neither Patrick Harvie or Lorna Slater should be anywhere near key financial decisions that will impact jobs and businesses.
“Their growing influence is a danger to our oil and gas industry and the 100,000 jobs it supports. The Greens seek to undermine the future of the North Sea sector at every turn, and Nicola Sturgeon is giving them a bigger platform to do that.
“It’s a real worry that an anti-jobs duo may have a regular seat at the Cabinet table, while businesses are shut out from the decision-making process.”
Alba party leader and former first minister Alex Salmond was also critical of the move, branding it as “student politics masquerading as coalition building”.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe