Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP, Elena Whitham has cast her vote for who she wants to be the next leader of the SNP and First Minister.

Voting has begun in the contest to succeed Nicola Sturgeon and become Scotland’s next first minister.

Ballot papers have been sent out to tens of thousands of SNP members, who are tasked with choosing their party’s new leader.

MSP Elena Whitham announced that she has cast hers for Humza Yousaf to become the next party leader and First Minister.

Ms Whitham announced she would be supporting the Health Secretary when it was announced Mr Yousaf would running to be leader.

In announcing she had voted for the former Justice Secretary, Ms Whitham said: "I have just voted for Humza Yousaf to be our next SNP party leader and FM.

"I believe in equality and social justice and I know he shares my passion and belief for an independent Scotland with these values at its heart".

Candidates Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan will be taking party in an SNP leadership debate on Sky News tonight from 8pm.

Ms Whitham had previously said: “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 Humza Yousaf will ensure it is at the heart of an independent Scotland󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿.”