“I have decided to put myself forward as a candidate"
On February 18, 2023, Humza Yousaf declared that he will participate in the running for leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).
This comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her resignation.
Yousaf was the first to officially declare his desire to run in the election.
He has served in several ministerial capacities and has been a member of the Scottish parliament since 2011.
He shared the official announcement in a video on Twitter and said:
“I have decided to put myself forward as a candidate to become Scotland’s next First Minister, and Leader of the SNP.”
A proposed leader by the public was assumed as Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
However, he declared himself ineligible for the leadership race, explaining that he did so to provide room for a “new perspective” on the objectives of the governing SNP.
He specifically cited governance and ideology related to possible Scottish independence.
I am delighted to say I have put myself forward to be @theSNP next leader & Scotland's next First Minister.
Watch my video below to see why I think I'm best placed for the job.
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) February 19, 2023
The SNP has announced a vote among its members, which will end on March 27, 2023, will elect a new leader.
Sturgeon, aged 52, declared she would continue in politics until a replacement had been chosen.
Her abrupt departure has cast doubt on the SNP’s drive for independence since the Westminster administration has blocked its attempts to organise a second vote following the 2014 referendum.
The 2014 referendum saw Scotland choose to remain a part of the United Kingdom by a margin of 55% to 45%.
The departure of Sturgeon, who is often considered Britain’s strongest political communicator, might potentially have an impact on the results of the upcoming general election if it aids the opposition Labour Party in regaining some of the seats it formerly controlled in Scotland.
The minister for culture, Europe, and international development, Neil Gray, has supported Yousaf’s probable run for leadership.
In a tweet, Gray said:
“My view is that @HumzaYousaf has the skills and experience to bring people across the party and civic Scotland together behind our vision for a fairer independent Scotland.
“I will therefore be giving him my full support as the next @theSNP leader and First Minister of Scotland.”
After Sturgeon’s withdrawal, Humza Yousaf, whose parents moved to Glasgow from Pakistan in the 1960s, has received a lot of attention as a potential successor.
According to media sources, Kate Forbes, the secretary of finance, and Angus Robertson, the secretary of the constitution, might be additional contenders for the position.
With the rise of South Asian representation in high office, such as Rishi Sunak, it will be interesting to see how the SNP leadership contest pans out for Humza Yousaf.
Will the UK see another South Asian political figure in high office?