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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
26 April 2024
Humza Yousaf will not resign ahead of no confidence vote

Humza Yousaf speaking to the press in Dundee this afternoon | Alamy

Humza Yousaf will not resign ahead of no confidence vote

Humza Yousaf will not resign ahead of a vote of no confidence in him next week.  

The first minister is under mounting pressure after ending the Bute House Agreement yesterday.

But he has refuted the suggestion that he will resign from his post telling members of the media today in Dundee that he intends to “fight that vote”.  

He faces a motion due to be brought forward by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross next week. Now working with a minority of MSPs, it is very likely Yousaf will have to rely on Alba’s leader at Holyrood Ash Regan’s vote if he is to win.  

This morning, Regan published a letter she sent to Yousaf which made a series of requests that “prioritise independence and protect the dignity, safety and rights of women and children”.   

With the Tories lodging a vote of no confidence in Yousaf and Labour submitting a motion of no confidence in the government, the first minister accused opposition parties of “playing games”, but said he will write to all party leaders about how a minority government can work. 

He said for such a government to work “it requires the opposition to work in good faith”. 

Speaking to Sky News, Yousaf 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. 

“Let me say to the opposition, for minority government to work in the interests of the people of Scotland, it also requires the opposition to act in good faith. To the Greens, I’ve obviously heard their anger. I understand they’re upset. What I will be doing is writing to all the political leaders, including Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, to say look, how do we make minority government work?” 

He added: “Ash Regan has just written to me saying she is willing to have a discussion. I will be writing not just to Ash Regan, but to Lorna Slater, Patrick Harvie, to Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar and Alex Cole-Hamilton to say all of us, including those in the opposition, have to make minority government work. Otherwise, we’re not going to be able to deliver on the priorities of the people.” 

Reacting to Yousaf's comments this afternoon, Ross said: “This was a desperate and humiliating attempt by a lame duck First Minister to save his job.

“Humza Yousaf has failed Scotland, his government is in meltdown and, despite his bluster, he knows he’s finished.

“That’s why we got his emergency announcement of more money for affordable housing, months after an SNP budget containing a brutal £196million cut to it.

“He has the cheek to claim he now seeks compromise with opposition parties when he and the SNP have divided Scotland at every turn. The only letter I want to see from Humza Yousaf is one announcing his resignation.

“His obsession with independence has left our economy and public services worse off.

“The Scottish Conservative Vote of No Confidence in Humza Yousaf will go ahead, and my party is urging every MSP disillusioned with his dismal leadership to back it.”

Earlier today, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar told journalists that he will lodge a motion of no confidence in the Scottish Government.  

And while the Scottish Greens have already said they would vote with other opposition parties against Yousaf in the vote of no confidence in him, it appears they could take a different stance on Sarwar’s motion.  

Green MSP Mark Ruskell posted to X: “Why would we [the Scottish Greens] vote down a government we were in earlier this week? 

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