Humza Yousaf will today make a first big push as the SNP leader to cement support for his party in the North-east.

The new First Minister is to announce another £25million to help with the shift toward renewable energy, according to the Press & Journal.

The investment is coming from the Scottish Government’s dedicated fund aimed at supporting the move away from oil and gas.

When Nicola Sturgeon was in power, the SNP committed to spending £500million over the next decade to ensure the transition from fossil fuels goes smoothly.

Ahead of his visit to Aberdeen's new £400m South Harbour, Mr Yousaf told the P&J that environmentally-friendly policies remained his “absolute priority”, but said the transition to renewables must be “fair for everyone”.

Bute House Agreement

Meanwhile, Mr Yousaf yesterday defended the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens.

It comes after former SNP minister Fergus Ewing branded the party's coalition partners "fringe extremists".

Green MSP Ross Greer hit back and said Mr Ewing's comments were "straight from the Conservative hymn sheet".

But Mr Yousaf said he would welcome any challenges to his policies as part of his "collaborative style" of leadership.

Mr Ewing claimed at the weekend the influence the Greens had in government had caused "widespread distrust - and growing and deep-seated anger" in both rural and island communities.

Green tail

The former rural affairs minister also said the party - which was granted two junior ministerial posts - were the "green tail wagging the yellow dog".

The MSP for Inverness and Nairn concluded: "It's time for the new FM to recognise the damage the association with the Green Party has caused - and scrap the Bute House Agreement."

But on Monday Mr Yousaf reminded Mr Ewing the deal was backed by 95% of the party's membership.

He told the BBC: "It has helped us to have a collaborative approach to government.

"It has helped us, of course, to have a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament and it has brought stability to the government.

Deal was backed

"So I would just remind anybody in the SNP that this is a deal that the members overwhelmingly backed."

Mr Greer said: "If Fergus thinks record funding for wildlife and nature, free bus travel for under-22s, the most progressive tax system in the UK and so many other transformative policies delivered by Greens are so unpopular, then why did the Scottish Greens and the SNP do so well at last year's council elections?"

Mr Yousaf was also asked about a separate weekend report which said 15 "rebel" MSPs - including supporters of his leadership rival Kate Forbes - plan to publish their own set of policy papers on jobs and the economy which they will present to ministers.

The first minister said he would welcome the input of backbenchers.

Mr Yousaf added: "I read beyond the headlines, and it seems some MSPs want to engage constructively with the government in terms of their policy ideas and initiatives.

"They will get a very welcoming ear from me."

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