First Minister Humza Yousaf says he has “full confidence” in SNP MSP Elena Whitham, who lambasted several of her colleagues in a leaked WhatsApp chat.

The Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP apologised after a string of messages was leaked, where she expressed disdain for some senior members from her own party, the Conservatives and the royal family.

Ms Whitham labelled her cabinet colleague, deputy first minister Shona Robison, a “cold fish”, Conservative MSP Brian Whittle a “p***k”, and said the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was “royalist b******s”.

Ms Whitham, who was appointed as drugs and alcohol policy minister in Mr Yousaf's first cabinet reshuffle, later responded by releasing a statement saying: “These comments were not acceptable and I apologise sincerely.”

Mr Yousaf said Ms Whitham was right to apologise.

Speaking to reporters at Peterhead Power Station in Aberdeenshire on Tuesday, he said: “It was absolutely right that Elena apologised.

“These comments were obviously made in private and then leaked, but nonetheless she was right to apologise.

"I spoke to Elena yesterday and she’s right to apologise to her colleagues that were affected.

“I have absolute full confidence in Elena. She’s doing an excellent job in a really challenging portfolio.

“We all know the scale of Scotland’s drug deaths at the moment.

“It’s a national mission for us to bring those drugs deaths down considerably and she’s doing a great job.

“We saw in the last couple of weeks, of course, she laid out our drug law reform proposals which got wide praise, not just domestically, but right across the world too.”