Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater says it is up to the SNP to decide whether or not they will form a coalition with her party in the Scottish Parliament, with first minister Nicola Sturgeon “open minded” on the subject.
The newly-elected MSP said the her party will have much more influence in Holyrood during this parliamentary term, after the party upped its total from six to eight.
She said: “I am delighted to win – this is the largest Green group in parliament we have ever had, and having more Green women than ever before has got to be good.
“I think it gives us significantly more influence.
“Given the SNP has a minority they will need to work with another party, and last time they worked with us.
“But of course when they worked with us we pushed for them to be more progressive, fairer and greener and we hope to play that role this time.
“Some people in parties chose to sit on their hands and win nothing [in the last parliament], but we got stuck in to the budget negotiations, rather than wishing for a distant future.
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“We will work with the power we have now on things like fairer income tax, free bus travel, and stopping evictions during the pandemic – things that matter to people on the ground right now.
“Our party position on many issues is quite different to the SNP, and as the largest group in Holyrood it is up to them to decide what government they want and can come to us if they want to.”
Ms Slater did however confirm the SNP has not approached the Scottish Greens to form a coalition following last week’s election.
She added: “We will continue to play that role, looking out for tenants, young people, looking out for equality, and making sure we keep the environment and the climate crisis in focus in every decision we make.”
There is a lot of common ground between the SNP and the Greens, and not just on independence.”
On Sunday, her co-leader Patrick Harvie said he thinks a lot of party members would be willing for the Greens to discuss the prospect of a coalition with the SNP, but added there would be challenges around policies such as tax, oil and gas, and transport.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP can work with the Greens on some issues, and said she was “open minded” to have discussions with the Scottish Greens.
Speaking to LBC News she said: “There is a lot of common ground between the SNP and the Greens, and not just on independence.
“We have COP26 coming up so climate change will be the focal point of many discussions this year so I am open to discussions with the Greens on whether there is any more formal arrangement than what we saw in the last parliament.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean a formal coalition.
“So I don’t know if those discussions will happen or if they will lead to anything, but I am certainly open minded to having them.”