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Humza Yousaf elected new SNP leader

27 Mar 2023 3 minute read
(left to right) Ash Regan, Humza Yousaf and Kate Forbes at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, after it was announced Humza Yousaf is the new Scottish National Party leader. Photo Andrew Milligan PA Images

Humza Yousaf is set to become Scotland’s youngest first minister and the first person from a minority ethnic background to hold the post after he was elected SNP leader.

After a sometimes fiery and divisive leadership contest, SNP members chose Mr Yousaf, 37, as their party’s new leader, succeeding Nicola Sturgeon.

The current Scottish Health Secretary is expected to be declared Scotland’s sixth first minister after a vote in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon, who was Scotland’s longest-serving first minister, announced last month she was stepping down after more than eight years in the job.

Mr Yousaf succeeds her after defeating the current Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and former community safety minister Ash Regan in what was the SNP’s first leadership contest for almost 20 years.

The result was announced at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh after the ballot of SNP members closed at noon, with a turnout of 70%.

For first preferences in the single transferrable vote system, Mr Yousaf took 24,336 (48%), Ms Forbes took 20,559 (40%) and Ms Regan took 5,599 (11%) of the vote.

When second preferences were distributed in the second stage, Mr Yousaf took 26,032 (52%) and Ms Forbes took 23,890 (48%).

Honoured

Mr Yousaf said: “It is hard for me to find the words to describe just how honoured I am to be entrusted by our membership of the SNP to be the party’s next leader and to be on the cusp of being our country’s next first minister.”

He paid tribute to Ms Forbes and Ms Regan, adding: “It’s felt we’ve seen each other more than our respective families.

“You both have put in an incredible shift and I know that collectively we will work hard as part of Team SNP.”

Viewed as the continuity candidate, Mr Yousaf had greater levels of public support from SNP parliamentarians at both Holyrood and Westminster than the other candidates, with high-profile backers including outgoing Deputy First Minister John Swinney, and new SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

Mr Yousaf was first elected in 2011 as a regional MSP for Glasgow and was appointed a junior minister the following year, becoming Justice Secretary in 2018.

Congratulating Humza Yousaf on his election, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price and Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts released a joint statement which said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru we extend our warmest congratulations to Humza Yousaf who carries with him our very best wishes as he takes forward his progressive values as the new leader of the SNP.

“We know that Humza will build on the tireless work of his predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon, by putting fairness and social justice at the heart of the Scottish Government’s mission.

“As the UK Government continues to shamefully deny the Scottish people their democratic right to self-determination, it is more important than ever that Scotland has a First Minister who is strong in conviction and clear in vision.

“The bond between our parties has always been strong and we look forward to this relationship going from strength to strength as we continue to make the case for independence for our nations.”


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Glen
Glen
10 months ago

The most moderate candidate, are SNP members getting ‘cold feet’.

Steve George
Steve George
10 months ago

Hardly an overwhelming mandate. Regretfully, I see (more) trouble ahead for the SNP. Such a shame.

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
10 months ago

Is he the one who asked where were the Ukrainian men? Umm…..!

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
10 months ago

Excellent news. He’s the candidate that the unionist labour and tory parties fear the most.

Last edited 10 months ago by Leigh Richards
Glen
Glen
10 months ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Is that why Scotland’s unionist media and SNP troughers were backing him?

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
10 months ago
Reply to  Glen

No its why a majority of SNP members who voted backed him! A Muslim becoming scotland’s first minister has clearly rattled the bigots that frequent this site and troll under fake names 🤣

Rab C Nesbit.
Rab C Nesbit.
10 months ago

Does anyone else find that 50,000-odd votes cast out of a total of 72,000 members a suspiciously low turnout in a party that is known for its activism?

Maybe there are a few thousand Forbes votes sitting in a room somewhere with the £600,000 in cash.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
10 months ago
Reply to  Rab C Nesbit.

The only ones finding the result ‘odd’ are anyomous trolls like you spreading bogus claims under fake names 😉

The original mark
The original mark
10 months ago
Reply to  Rab C Nesbit.

Forces, isn’t she the one backed by the right wing Christian nutters, anti abortion, anti sex education, anti lgbt, if so probably just as well she lost.

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