The co-leader of the Scottish Greens has claimed a critic of his party’s powersharing deal with the SNP is yet to “come to terms with the reality of the climate crisis”.
The Bute House Agreement, which saw the leaders of the Scottish Greens given ministerial office in the Scottish Government in exchange for shoring up the SNP’s position at Holyrood, has been criticised in recent months, with the chief rebel being former minister Fergus Ewing.
Ewing, who described the Greens as “wine bar revolutionaries” in one of his outspoken interventions, has urged the SNP to allow members to vote again on the deal which was struck by Nicola Sturgeon’s administration in 2021.
But speaking to the Scotland On Sunday, Patrick Harvie said: “He represents a generation that simply hasn’t moved on and come to terms with the reality of what the climate emergency requires of us all collectively.”
Ewing has been an outspoken critic of climate change policies seen as being Green-driven, including highly protected marine areas and the deposit return scheme.
Harvie was initially asked about both Ewing and former SNP leadership contender and fellow Bute House Agreement sceptic Kate Forbes, but he described the latter as “bright and articulate” while “the other is not”.
The Greens co-leader also claimed that internal critics of the deal may be hampering the SNP’s fortunes in the polls, with a survey this week suggesting the party’s lead in Scotland in general election voting has shrunk to just four percentage points over Labour.
Harvie said: “I think there are some in the SNP who need to go back and reflect on the experience of being a minority government in the last session, the toxicity of that, and recognise that the public respond well when politicians find common ground and look to co-operate and build consensus.
“Even looking at the SNP’s fortunes, people who are stirring up hostility within the SNP’s ranks, they should be asking themselves whether they have far more to do with the SNP’s polling numbers at the moment than any individual policy delivery.”