AYR'S MSP has announced who she is backing to be the next First Minister of Scotland.

Names that have come forward for the top role after Nicola Sturgeon's resignation announcement last week include Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and former Minister for Community Safety Ash Regan.

However, Ms Brown has decided to back Kate Forbes MSP, the current Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy.

Ms Forbes is seen as the main contender for the role alongside Humza Yousaf.

But some key SNP backers have announced that they could no longer back Ms Forbes after the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP she would have voted against legislation on same-sex marriages.

However, Ms Forbes went on to say she would not seek to overturn gay marriage laws if she becomes First Minister.

On pay settlements, Ms Forbes backed collective bargaining procedures, stating: "Negotiations on pay settlements are a matter for our public sector bodies, as the employers, and the relevant staff representatives or trade unions. It is right for employers and trade unions to follow the recognised collective bargaining procedures."

Ayr MSP Siobhian Brown took to Twitter to post: "With a wealth of talent in our party, I am delighted @_KateForbes has decided to stand. She has what it takes to unite our movement and take our country forward.

"Throughout her time in Parliament she has shown the qualities of a leader. I am proud to back her as Scotland’s FM."

Meanwhile, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP Elena Whitham has backed Humza Yousaf in the leadership contest.

Ms Whitham said on social media: "I want to live in a fairer, equal socially just society where everyone is able to be their authentic self. This matters to me deeply.

"I believe we are already on that path and @HumzaYousaf  will ensure it is at the heart of an independent Scotland #Humza4FM."