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Scotland’s Yousaf will resign as first minister – BBC



Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf will resign as early as Monday, the BBC reported, after the possibility of him winning a vote of confidence this week appeared to dwindle over the weekend.

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

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf will give a press conference later on Monday, Times Radio reported Monday morning.

Last week, Yousaf abruptly ended a power-sharing agreement between his Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Green Party, in the hopes that he could lead a minority government – but opposition parties have tabled a vote of no confidence.

The pro-independence SNP’s fortunes have faltered amid a funding scandal and the resignation of a party leader last year, while there has been infighting over how progressive its pitch should be as it seeks to woo back voters.

Just days ago, Yousaf said he was “quite confident” that he could win the no confidence vote called by political opponents, but by Monday, his offer of talks with other parties to try to shore up his minority government seemed to be faltering.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf holds a press conference as he announces the Scottish National Party (SNP) will withdraw from the Bute House Agreement, at Bute House, Edinburgh, Scotland April 25, 2024. (credit: VIA REUTERS)

The leadership crisis and a second no-confidence vote against the Scottish government deepens problems faced by Yousaf’s Scottish National Party, which is losing popular support after 17 years of heading the Scottish Government.

Labour has overtaken SNP in voting intentions 

Earlier this month, polling firm YouGov said the Labour Party had overtaken the SNP in voting intentions for a Westminster election, for the first time in a decade.

The leader of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, told BBC radio there was nothing Yousaf could say to persuade his party to support the first minister in the parliamentary confidence vote, leaving Yousaf with few options.

The vote is due to take place later this week.

A victory for Labour in Scotland in Britain’s next national election – expected later this year – would significantly bolster the party’s chances of taking power from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party.

If Yousaf loses, parliament would have 28 days to choose a new first minister before an election is forced.

Former SNP leader John Swinney has been approached by senior party figures to become an interim first minister in the event of Yousaf being forced from office, the Times newspaper said, adding that Swinney was reluctant to step up because of personal circumstances.

Yousaf, who previously held health and justice ministerial briefs in the Scottish Government, succeeded former SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as first minister in March 2023.

She resigned last year and has since been embroiled in a party funding scandal with her husband, who was charged this month with embezzling funds. Both deny wrongdoing.

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