Humza Yousaf becomes SNP Leader

Humza Yousaf has been elected as the new leader of the Scottish National Party, becoming the first ethnic minority leader.

Humza Yousaf becomes SNP Leader f

"we will be the generation that delivers independence for Scotland."

Humza Yousaf has become the first ethnic minority leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), seeing off Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and former community safety minister Ash Regan.

His win follows a tumultuous campaign that exposed deep divisions in the party that has dominated Scottish politics under his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Yousaf is almost certain to be confirmed as Scotland’s next First Minister in a nominal vote at Holyrood on March 28, 2023.

Mr Yousaf, who had the support of most SNP MSPs and MPs, had promised to continue the centre-left, socially inclusive agenda that defined the Sturgeon era.

But during the election campaign, he also said he would lead “as my own man” and distanced himself from key policies of Ms Sturgeon, including the plan to hold the next general election as a referendum, and promised a more open style of government.

In an interview, Mr Yousaf promised to hold an anti-poverty summit as his first act as First Minister, where experts could discuss wealth taxes to fund support for poorer people after figures showed child poverty in Scotland was at the same level as when the SNP first came to power in 2007.

The announcement at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium came after a heated contest that has included policy divisions between candidates, personal attacks and the resignation of the party’s chief executive and Ms Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, after damaging revelations that the media had been given false information about membership figures.

The party revealed its membership had fallen from 104,000 to 72,000 since December 2021 after Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan demanded transparency in how the vote was being run.

In his victory speech, Mr Yousaf said it was “hard for me to find the words to describe just how honoured I am to be entrusted by our membership of the SNP to be the party’s next leader and to be on the cusp of being our country’s next First Minister”.

He was “not just humbled” to have become SNP leader but that he also felt “like the luckiest man in the world”.

Mr Yousaf said he will serve “in the interests of all party members” and “lead Scotland in the interests of all of our citizens, whatever your political allegiance”.

He vowed to be a First Minister “for all of Scotland”.

He said: “Leadership elections, by their very nature, can be bruising. However, in the SNP we are a family.

“Over the last five weeks, we may have been competitors or supporters of different candidates. We are no longer team Humza, or team Ash, or team Kate, we are one team.

“We will be the team, we will be the generation that delivers independence for Scotland.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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