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Why is Scotland First Minister Humza Yousaf resigning?



Scotland First Minister Humza Yousaf is set to resign on Monday after he decided he wouldn’t survive a confidence vote, The Sunday Times reported. Senior Scottish National Party(SNP) members are aware of Humza Yousaf’s decision.

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf (REUTERS)

Humza Yousaf came under the radar of opposition Conservatives after he decided to end his party’s power-sharing deal with the Greens last Thursday. Humza Yousaf said the cooperation agreement reached after the SNP fell one seat short of a majority in the 2021 election had “served its purpose”.

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Tensions with the Greens rose last week when the government scrapped a plan to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 saying that it was unachievable.

As Humza Yousaf intended to continue to run Scotland as a minority government, the opposition Conservatives lodged a vote of no-confidence in him that was set to take place this week. The motion received support from the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.

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With the UK-wide election expected in the second half of the year, Humza Yousaf had been trying to rebuild the SNP’s image around stable government after a year of turmoil following long-time leader Nicola Sturgeon’s stepping down.

Scottish National Party has been Britain’s most effective and dominant political party. In 2011, the SNP had won a landslide in the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, the first majority in a system that in theory lends itself to coalition or minority government. In 2015 when the UK election took place, a year after Scots voted 55% to 45% to remain in the union, the SNP won 50% of the Scottish vote and 56 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster districts.

Humza Yousaf has held several ministerial positions in the Scottish Government since 2012, and joined cabinet in June 2018 as Cabinet Secretary for Justice. In May 2021, he was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care.

(With inputs from news agency Bloomberg)

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