AYR'S MSP has continued her support for her preferred First Minister candidate after Kate Forbes came under intense pressure due to comments she made regarding same-sex marriage.

Siobhian Brown MSP released a statement earlier this week backing 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 said she would have voted against legislation on same-sex marriages.

Ms Forbes came under scrutiny from the public and the press for her views, prompting others to ask Ms Brown whether she will continue her support.

In a statement, Siobhian Brown MSP said: "Equality and tolerance stretches over a wide range of views and beliefs.

"I have been asked in the past 24 hours if I still support Kate Forbes in her bid to be First Minister in light of comments made in the press yesterday.

"Although I strongly disagree with some of her personal views and religious beliefs, I respect that she is entitled to them.

"I want an Independent Scotland, where my children can choose to live the life they want, without judgement.

"If the contest to become Leader or First Minister becomes a contest about an individual's religious and personal beliefs, we all lose.

"The Leadership contest has just begun and we have three candidates who are all strong and bring their own individual qualities to the race. It is up to the SNP membership to ultimately decide who leads our party and country forward to independence.

"I still support Kate Forbes."