Humza Yousaf ‘determined’ to deliver independence following election as new SNP leader

Humza Yousaf has been elected as the brand new SNP chief following a contentious five-week management race.

Outgoing first minister Nicola Sturgeon will now provide her resignation to the King on Tuesday, after which a parliamentary vote will happen in Holyrood to formally nominate Mr Yousaf to the publish.

He’ll then be be sworn in on the Courtroom of Session on Wednesday, after which his new cupboard will probably be introduced.

Addressing these gathered in Edinburgh, the place the consequence was introduced, Mr Yousaf mentioned it was “laborious” to search out the phrases to explain “simply how honoured I’m to be entrusted by our membership of the SNP to be the occasion’s subsequent chief – and to be on the cusp of being our nation’s subsequent first minister”.


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Setting out his priorities, Mr Yousaf mentioned he’s “decided” to ship independence for Scotland.

He additionally paid tribute to his fellow management contenders, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, affirming: “I do know that collectively we’ll proceed to work laborious as a part of crew SNP”. 

Mr Yousaf obtained 26,032 votes, in comparison with Ms Forbes’ 23,890. As a result of not one of the three candidates obtained greater than 50% of first choice selections, the vote wanted second preferences to be determined.

As soon as the second choice votes had been redistributed Mr Yousaf had 26,032 which represents 52.1 per cent of the vote.

Mr Yousaf was additionally backed by a big proposition of the SNP’s elected officers, together with 19 MPs and 34 MSPs in line with’s rely.

Asserting his assist on 12 March, deputy first minister John Swinney outlined: “We now want to decide on a celebration chief who will full our journey to independence and I imagine that individual needs to be Humza Yousaf”.

He added: “I believe Humza is greatest paced to guide our occasion as a result of he’ll strengthen the SNP as a pressure for progressive change in Scottish politics. He’ll govern successfully by utilizing the partnership that we get pleasure from with the Scottish Inexperienced Get together”.

The 38-year-old well being secretary led the nation’s response to the Covid disaster, making him a family identify in Scotland.

Regardless of making up a part of a more moderen era of SNP figures, having develop into an MSP in 2011, Yousaf has held a lot of senior posts in authorities, together with as transport minister, Europe minister and justice secretary.

His document on the NHS has got here underneath fireplace in the course of the marketing campaign on account of giant ready lists and lengthy A&E ready occasions.

The management race started after Nicola Sturgeon known as a shock press convention in February and introduced that she was resigning as Scotland’s first minister after eight years within the job.

The transfer left the SNP dealing with its first management contest for nearly 20 years.

Talking at Bute Home in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon informed reporters: “In my head and in my coronary heart I do know that point is now, that it’s proper for me, for my occasion and for the nation. And so at present I’m asserting my intention to step down as First Minister and chief of my occasion”.

Ms Sturgeon has mentioned that she is going to by no means say who she voted for within the SNP management election, including that whoever wins “may have my 100 per cent assist.”

She mentioned that the SNP should get behind its new chief, “as a result of in the event that they succeed, the occasion and – most significantly of all – the nation will succeed.

She added: “I’ll be their greatest champion and largest advocate”.

Ms Forbes, who completed an in depth second within the race, attracted controversy early on within the race after she mentioned she would have voted in opposition to the landmark equalities invoice “as a matter of conscience”.

Because of her place on such social points, the finance secretary misplaced a lot of key backers. These embody MSPs Gillian Martin, Richard Lochhead, Tom Arthur, Clare Haughey and MP Drew Hendry.

She has served because the SNP’s finance and financial system secretary since February 2020.

Ash Regan completed third in race, selecting up 5,599 votes or 11 per cent of first preferences. 

Ms Regan’s most distinguished backer was Joanna Cherry MP, the chair of the joint committee on human rights at Westminster. She was the SNP’s justice spokesperson earlier than being sacked from the entrance bench for her outspoken opposition to gender recognition reforms.

Asserting her assist, Ms Cherry mentioned: “I’m proud to assist Ash given her stable left wing credentials … and the braveness and management she has proven in standing up for the rights of girls and women”.

In the meantime, Rishi Sunak has vowed to “battle very laborious” to cease Mr Yousaf from breaking apart the UK.

Requested if he could be keen to debate a second referendum with the brand new SNP chief, Mr Sunak informed an occasion in Essex this morning: “The SNP will do their factor, we’ll discover out at present. I’m very clear that I passionately imagine in our union… I care about our union, I believe it is rather valuable.

“When my grand mother and father emigrated to this nation they didn’t come to England, they got here to the UK and that’s as a result of the UK represented a extremely highly effective set of values and in the end it’s these values that bind us all collectively. It isn’t geography.

“That concept that impressed my grand mother and father to to migrate right here, the thought of what the UK stood for, what we had been all about as a society, as a group, that’s highly effective, it’s inspiring and I’ll battle very laborious to guard it on a regular basis that I’m on this job.”

The newest ballot of Scottish voters on independence, performed by YouGov, has steered that presently, 46 per cent of individuals would vote ‘sure’, whereas 54 per cent would vote ‘no’.