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Humza Yousaf Resigns As Scotland’s First Minister, Adds To British PM Rishi Sunak’s Woes



Labour Party’s revival in Scotland adds to the challenges British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party faces.

(L) Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) (R) Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf pauses as he speaks during a press conference at Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh, Monday April 29, 2024. Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, has resigned rather than face a no-confidence vote just days after he torpedoed a coalition with the Green Party by ditching a target for fighting climate change. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

Humza Yousaf Resigns: Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s First Minister, resigned as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) on Monday, April 29. Following the resignation Humza Yousaf said that he had ordered a contest be held to select a replacement.

“I’ve concluded that repairing our relationship across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm,” said Yousaf while addressing a press conference in Edinburgh.

“I have therefore informed the SNP’s national secretary of my intention to stand down as party leader and ask that she commences a leadership contest for my replacement as soon as possible,” said Yousaf adding that he would continue as first minister until a successor has been elected.

Yousaf quit as head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) after a week of chaos triggered by his scrapping of a coalition agreement with Scotland’s Greens and then failed to secure enough support to survive votes of no confidence against him expected later this week.

Humza Yousaf served as the First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since March 2023. He had replaced Nicola Sturgeon as first minister and SNP leader.

The Scotland leader’s resignation on Monday has further opened the door to the United Kingdom’s opposition Labour Party regaining ground in its former Scottish heartlands during a national election expected to be held later this year.

Yousaf abruptly ended a power-sharing agreement between his pro-independence SNP and the Green Party after a row over climate change targets.

The SNP’s fortunes have faltered over a funding scandal and the resignation of Sturgeon as party leader last year. There has also been infighting over how progressive its pitch should be as it seeks to woo back voters, reports news agency Reuters.

Notably, the Labour Party’s revival in Scotland adds to the challenge facing British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party which is lagging far behind Labour in UK-wide opinion polls.

The Scottish parliament now has 28 days to choose a new first minister before an election is forced, with former SNP leader John Swinney and Yousaf’s former leadership rival Kate Forbes seen as possible successors, says Reuters.

Earlier in the day, the BBC reported that “Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf will resign as early as Monday, April 29.”

“Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf (is) to resign as early as today, the BBC understands,” said the BBC News, without citing a source.

(With Reuters inputs)

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