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Scotland’s First Minister Yousaf to make statement as resignation expected

29 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf, Robert Perry/PA Wire

Humza Yousaf is to make a statement as he is expected to resign as First Minister of Scotland.

He is holding a press conference at Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh at noon.

He is expected to announce he is standing down from the post, the PA news agency understands.

It comes as he faces two votes of no confidence: one from the Scottish Conservatives; and another from Scottish Labour, which has has tabled one for the Scottish Government as a whole.

Votes on the motions are expected at Holyrood in the coming week.

Meanwhile, SNP MSP Michelle Thomson told BBC Radio Scotland on Monday morning that she has heard “rumours” he is considering stepping down.


Ms Thomson, who was part of Kate Forbes’ campaign for leadership last year, said: “I’m hearing the same rumours (that the First Minister is considering stepping down) and I think we’re all waiting to see what the actual position is.

“I guess the rumours suggest that something is afoot, but I honestly can’t clarify because I’ve had no update nor, as I understand, have my MSP group, so I guess we’ll all hear definitively one way or another this morning.”

Ms Thomson went on to describe the First Minister as an “honourable man” who is “well liked” within the SNP Holyrood group.

Mr Yousaf has previously said he will not resign and that he intends to win the confidence votes.

His former partners in government, the Scottish Greens, have said they are intending to back the votes of no confidence.

On Monday morning, Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I don’t think Humza Yousaf any more is in a position to be able to lead.”

He added: “I don’t think there is anything that Humza Yousaf will be able to say to restore the trust he has broken.”

The First Minister requires the support of at least one member of the opposition at Holyrood.

Alex Salmond’s Alba Party has reportedly distanced itself from making a deal with Mr Yousaf, leaving the First Minister’s fate in the hands of the Scottish Greens.


Mr Harvie expressed regret over the breakdown in the powersharing deal, but described the First Minister’s position as nevertheless untenable.

“Everybody understands how deeply regrettable and unnecessary this whole situation was,” he said, adding: “I think it is really important that we return to stability.”

On BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, Mr Harvie later said Mr Yousaf should stand down, but insisted he bears no “personal ill will” against him.

Mr Harvie, who was fired as a government minister when the Bute House Agreement was scrapped, said: “I do want to say there is a human impact to all of this, a human element to all of this.

“I don’t bear Humza Yousaf personal ill will or malice in any way at all and I take no pleasure at all, none of us in the Greens do, in turbulence and chaos over the last week or two.

“But it is clear that Humza Yousaf, in the decision that he made last week, has broken trust with the Scottish Greens, cannot command a majority in Parliament, and we stand ready to work with someone who can.

“Because the SNP are by far and away the largest party in Parliament, they’re just short of a majority, they are capable of providing stable minority Government, they have a responsibility to do so.

“I think opposition parties have a responsibility to play their part. It’s been done before, it can be done again, but Humza Yousaf, I’m really sorry to say, is no longer in a position to do that, because it has to depend on trust.”

On Sky News, Labour’s deputy national campaign co-ordinator, Ellie Reeves, said on Monday: “No-one voted for Humza Yousaf and, given all of the chaos, I think there should be an election up in Scotland so that people in Scotland can have their say on what’s happening up there.

“At the moment, they are being failed by an SNP Government in Holyrood and a Conservative Government in Westminster.”

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