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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
07 May 2024
Humza Yousaf formally resigns as first minister

Humza Yousaf resigns as first minister | Alamy

Humza Yousaf formally resigns as first minister

Humza Yousaf has formally stepped down as first minister of Scotland. 

He has signed a letter tendering his resignation to King Charles. 

The new leader of the SNP, John Swinney, is expected to become first minister later today.  

Yesterday, Swinney pledged to party members to unite the party in what he described as a “new chapter” for the SNP

Yousaf’s resignation comes after he ended the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens. The decision sparked anger from the Greens and Yousaf admitted last week he “paid the price” for that. 

He thanked the King for the “counsel and the kindness” he showed to him and his wife, adding it had been a “pleasure” to serve him and Scotland. 

Yousaf is the youngest and first person of colour to hold the office of Scotland’s first minister and he is the first Muslim leader of a Western nation.  

His resignation will take effect from Tuesday. 

Yousaf said: “Being the first minister of the country I love, the country I am raising my family in, and the only country I will ever call home has been a phenomenal honour.   

“As a young Muslim boy, born and raised in Scotland, I could never have dreamt that one day I would have the privilege of leading my country – people who looked like me, were not in positions of political influence, let alone leading governments when I was younger.   

“I am proud to have delivered a council tax freeze for households in every local authority in Scotland, invested record amounts in our National Health Service, removed peak fares on our railways, and approved plans for Europe’s largest floating offshore windfarm. And through our actions, an estimated 100,000 children are expected to be kept out of poverty this year. 

“From the backbenches of the Scottish Parliament, I will continue to champion the rights and the voices of those who are often not heard, be they at home or abroad.”

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