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Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf expected to resign after coalition collapse –



Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf was expected to quit Monday rather than face two no-confidence votes — one in him as Scotland’s leader and one in his Scottish Nationalist Party government — that he has little to no chance of winning. File photo by Robert Perry

April 29 (UPI) — Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf was under mounting pressure to quit Monday ahead of two no-confidence votes he has the slimmest of chances of winning.

The 39-year-old Scottish Nationalist Party leader is expected to resign within hours, four days after he collapsed a coalition with the Scottish Greens that kept his government in power in a row over carbon emissions targets.

Yousaf is scheduled to make a statement outside Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh, at 7 a.m. EDT.

Yousaf had insisted he would not resign and rule without a majority but has been unable, or unwilling, to gain the support from rival parties he needs to do so.

The Greens, furious at being unceremoniously kicked from a coalition Yousaf had only days previously said was “worth its weight in gold,” rejected his overtures while he ruled out of hand any deal with the Alba Party of former SNP First Minister Alex Salmond.

The failure to broker a deal means he lacks the votes to survive no-confidence votes later this week — one in him as first minister and a second in his government.

The BBC said it had been told early Monday of a “growing expectation” among senior SNP officials that Yousaf was about to step aside.

Former SNP deputy first minister John Swinney, speaking to reporters in London, confirmed a major announcement was imminent.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie indicated Monday his party could support an SNP minority government, but only if Yousaf, whom he accused of breaking trust and creating an unnecessary crisis, quit.

“The SNP remain the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, just short of a majority, and they are capable of governing a stable minority government. Greens are ready to help make that happen.

“But I don’t think Humza Yousaf is in a position to be able to lead such a stable minority because it depends on trust and I don’t think there is anything that he will be able to say to restore the trust he has broken.”

The resignation of Yousaf, who has been in office for a little over a year after taking over from Nicola Sturgeon after she unexpectedly quit in Feb. 2023, will trigger a leadership contest under which the Scottish Parliament will get 28 days to select a new first minister.

Failure to do so within the time limit will result in parliament being dissolved and a general election being called.

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