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by Louise Wilson
25 April 2024
Greens to back no-confidence motion in Humza Yousaf

Scottish Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater | Alamy

Greens to back no-confidence motion in Humza Yousaf

The Scottish Greens will vote against Humza Yousaf in a vote of no confidence, the party has confirmed. 

Co-leader Lorna Slater accused Yousaf of taking a “step to the right” by abandoning the Bute House Agreement.

She said the First Minister had bowed to “pressure from the conservative wing of his own party”.

Asked if she would regret it if the vote ultimately led to a more right-wing government, Slater said: “There’s already been a step to the right. Humza Yousaf had to make a choice between his own more conservative backbenchers and working with us. He made that choice. That move has already been made.”

A motion is set to be tabled by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross

Labour’s Anas Sarwar and Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton had already confirmed their MSPs would back a no-confidence vote. 

With the addition of the Green MSPs, that means there are 64 opposition MSPs who could back a motion stating the parliament no longer has confidence in the first minister. 

There are 63 SNP MSPs. 

Alba’s Ash Regan is yet to confirm which way she will vote.

Announcing the Green MSPs' unanimous decision, co-leader Lorna Slater said: “When we voted for Humza Yousaf’s appointment last year, it was on the basis that we would continue to work together to deliver the progressive policy programme as laid out in the Bute House Agreement… His decision today to end that agreement has without doubt called into question the delivery of that programme. It came with no reassurance that his minority government would continue with these objectives.” 

She added: “Therefore Scottish Green MSPs will support a vote of no confidence against the First Minister if such a motion comes before parliament in the coming weeks.” 

Co-leader Patrick Harvie denied the decision was “revenge”, saying that was an “unworthy thought”.

Arguing the BHA “could have achieve so much more”, he added: “This is a situation that is not of our making. We deeply regret that Humza Yousaf has brought this situation about by tearing up an agreement that was working well.”

The pair said the Greens had seen a “surge” in membership numbers since the announcement this morning.

They also confirmed that no one from the SNP had approached the party to convince them not to back Ross’s motion.

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