Live television debates featuring the three candidates in the SNP leadership election look likely to happen after the party told broadcasters it would be happy for the programmes to go ahead.
Party officials have advised both the BBC and STV that it would have no problem with the candidates appearing on TV to discuss the key issues in the race to replace Nicola Sturgeon, the i newspaper understands.
Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan are the only three candidates to officially declare that they are running in the contest, although nominations do not close until noon on Friday 24 February.
Each SNP member will get one vote in the contest, but only those who were registered on 15 February – the day that Ms Sturgeon announced her intention to step down – will be able to take part.
An SNP spokesman said: “The SNP is happy for the candidates to take part in a live televised leadership debate.”
An STV spokeswoman said: “STV has a track record in carrying such debates across Scottish and UK parties and, whilst we can’t confirm details right now, we are looking into airing an SNP leadership debate.”
A BBC spokesman said: “We are continuing to provide in-depth coverage of the leadership campaigns and details of any relevant programming would be released through the usual channels.”
Asked if Ms Forbes would be willing to take part in a live televised debate, her spokesman replied: “In a word, yes.”
A spokesman for Ms Regan’s campaign said: “Ash would be happy to take part.”
A spokesman for Mr Yousaf said: “Yes, absolutely Humza is happy to take part in live televised debates.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown and Deputy First Minister John Swinney have ruled themselves out of the race, as have Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, Europe minister Neil Gray and the environment minister, Mairi McAllan.
Top picture: The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.