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by Staff Reporter
29 April 2024
Humza Yousaf set to resign as first minister

First Minister Humza Yousaf | Alamy

Humza Yousaf set to resign as first minister

Humza Yousaf is expected to resign as first minister later as a vote of no confidence in his leadership looms. 

Yousaf is due to make a statement at noon. 

The third SNP leader in a row to hold the office of first minister, Yousaf's job is now on the line after Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross tabled a motion of no confidence in him.

That followed Yousaf's decision to end the Bute House Agreement between the SNP and the Scottish Greens.

Angry Green leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater said their party would not support Yousaf in the vote.

With 63 SNP MSPs to 64 across the parliament's other parties, Yousaf needs support from across the chamber to stay in office.

The first minister has written to the leaders of all Holyrood parties seeking talks ahead of the vote. Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton declined the offer, telling Yousaf he has "run out of road". Meanwhile, Ross told Yousaf: "Now is surely the moment to accept that your time in office is over and offer your resignation as first minister."

Last night the Alba Party, whose sole MSP Ash Regan could offer hope for Yousaf in the confidence vote, said its national executive committee had heard her plan to seek a deal with Yousaf over "independence, women's rights and the restoration of competent government".

While the debate on Yousaf's job is expected this week, the exact timing of this has yet to be confirmed.

And the SNP faces another challenge after Scottish Labour tabled a motion of no confidence in the Scottish Government itself.

Yousaf was seen leaving his home in Dundee earlier alongside wife Nadia El-Nakla, but did not answer questions from waiting reporters. 

On Friday, he told journalists he would fight for his political future and would not resign.

Speaking at an event in Dundee, he said:  “I intend absolutely to fight that vote of no confidence and I’m getting on with the day job. The reality is that I’m out here delivering on the priorities of the people. The opposition may wish to play games – that’s up to them. I intend to fight that vote of no confidence – I have every intention of winning that vote of no confidence.”

But there appears to have been a change of heart over the weekend amid pressure from those in his own party. 

The Scottish Conservatives said it was their vote of no confidence, which had force Yousaf to resign. 

Party leader Douglas Ross said: “The Scottish Conservatives have delivered on our promise to be a strong opposition to Humza Yousaf and the SNP. 

“We have forced Humza Yousaf out of office for repeatedly failing Scotland. Faced with our Vote of No Confidence, the SNP leader has quit rather than face a humiliating defeat.

“As he leaves office, on a personal level, I wish Humza Yousaf and his family well. 

“But we cannot forgive the damage he did to families and households across Scotland by raising taxes, letting NHS waiting lists spiral and attacking free speech. 

“The next first minister must abandon the nationalist obsession with independence and focus solely on Scotland's top priorities, such as creating jobs and improving our ailing public services.

“Humza Yousaf is gone but the SNP remains – and the power to change that is in the hands of Scotland’s voters. Now that we have forced Humza Yousaf out of office, we are asking voters to help us beat the SNP in seats up and down Scotland at the next General Election.”

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