Humza Yousaf Steps Down as Scotland’s First Minister

Humza Yousaf Steps Down as Scotland's First Minister

London (Parliament News) – Humza Yousaf steps down as Scotland’s first minister, citing the need for reconciliation across political lines. His resignation follows the collapse of the SNP-Greens power-sharing deal amid confidence vote challenges.

Once a successor has been found, Humza Yousaf will stand down as Scotland’s first minister.

He stated he had decided to devour the weekend reflecting on what was best for the SNP, the government and the country. Mr Yousaf expressed he had concluded that someone else would be required to take over to “repair our relationship across the political divide”.

What Prompted the End of the SNP-Greens Power-Sharing Deal?

It follows the failure of the SNP’s power-sharing deal with the Greens. Mr Yousaf’s decision to suddenly end the agreement just 48 hours after stating he had no intention of doing so angered the Greens and left him labouring to secure enough support to lead a minority government.

He had been meeting two votes of no confidence later this week that he was not confident to win, with the Greens saying they would vote to remove him as first minister. Mr Yousaf pressed on Friday of last week that he would succeed the confidence votes and “absolutely” lead the SNP into the general election and the 2026 Holyrood election.

Speaking at his official Bute House residence in Edinburgh as he declared his resignation on Monday, he realised that he had “clearly underestimated” the hurt he had caused the Greens by ending the agreement in the manner that he did.

Why Did Humza Yousaf Face Confidence Vote Challenges?

He stated: “After spending the weekend reflecting on what is best for my party, for the government and for the country I lead, I’ve deduced that repairing our relationship across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm. “I have therefore informed the SNP’s national secretary of my intention to stand down as party leader.”

His resignation comes just 13 months after Mr Yousaf succeeded the contest to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as first minister and SNP leader after barely defeating Kate Forbes in what had been a fractious leadership race.

He became the first ethnic minority head of a devolved government in the UK and the first Muslim to lead a significant UK party. Within days of Mr Yousaf’s appointment, Ms Sturgeon’s home was explored by police and her husband Peter Murrell – the SNP’s chief executive at the time – was apprehended as part of an ongoing investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances.

Ms Sturgeon was also later apprehended but has not been charged with any offences. Mr Murrell has been apprehended with embezzlement.

Who Could Potentially Succeed Humza Yousaf as First Minister?

It is not clear who is possible to replace Mr Yousaf – but they will be the seventh person to carry the post of first minister since the Scottish Parliament was founded in 1999.

Former SNP leader John Swinney, who performed as deputy first minister to Ms Sturgeon, has already stated he is actively considering standing and has acquired the backing of many influential figures within the party. The SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has drawn himself, but Ms Forbes has been tipped to stand again. She remains a divisive figure within the party over her thoughts on social issues including trans rights and gay marriage, and is likely to be offensive to the Greens, but her supporters have stated they expect her to put her name forward.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.