Humza Yousaf Resigns as Scotland's First Minister Amid No-Confidence Votes

Humza Yousaf resigns as Scotland's first minister amid likely no-confidence votes, triggering SNP leadership race as party faces political turmoil.

Nimrah Khatoon
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Humza Yousaf Resigns as Scotland's First Minister Amid No-Confidence Votes

Humza Yousaf Resigns as Scotland's First Minister Amid No-Confidence Votes

Humza Yousaf has announced his resignation as Scotland's first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) amid a likely defeat in two no-confidence votes. The votes were triggered by Yousaf's decision to end the SNP's coalition government with the Scottish Green Party.

In a statement, Yousaf said he believed ending the coalition, known as the Bute House Agreement, was the right decision for the party and country. However, he acknowledged underestimating "the level of hurt and upset it caused among Green colleagues." Yousaf said repairing relationships across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm of the SNP.

Yousaf will remain in office until a new SNP leader is elected, which he has asked the party's national secretary to commence "as soon as possible." According to the SNP's constitution, a candidate for leader must have the nominations of at least 100 members, drawn from at least 20 branches.

The SNP is now facing its second leadership crisis in less than 18 months, after 20 years of stability under former leader Nicola Sturgeon. Senior party figures are expected to seek an experienced, unifying candidate to guide the SNP through the upcoming general election and 2026 Scottish Parliament elections.

Why this matters: Yousaf's resignation adds to the broader political turmoil in the United Kingdom, where concerns about immigration, healthcare, and government spending have undermined support for the ruling Conservative Party. The SNP's dominance in Scottish politics for almost two decades is now threatened, with the Labour party posing an electoral challenge in upcoming UK-wide elections.

Once Yousaf formally resigns, the Scottish Parliament will have 28 days to choose a new first minister by a simple majority vote. Any member of the Scottish Parliament is allowed to stand for election. Potential candidates to replace Yousaf include former finance secretary Kate Forbes, education secretary Jenny Gilruth, and Westminster SNP leader Stephen Flynn. Yousaf expressed confidence that the next SNP leader will lead the party to the "finish line" in their pursuit of Scottish independence.

Key Takeaways

  • Humza Yousaf resigns as Scotland's first minister and SNP leader amid likely no-confidence votes.
  • Yousaf's decision to end SNP's coalition with Greens caused "hurt and upset" among colleagues.
  • SNP faces second leadership crisis in 18 months after 20 years of stability under Sturgeon.
  • Yousaf's resignation adds to UK's political turmoil, with Labour posing challenge to SNP dominance.
  • Scottish Parliament has 28 days to elect new first minister, with Forbes, Gilruth, and Flynn as potential candidates.