Scotland’s Humza Yousaf resigns – The Washington Post

LONDON — Scotland’s leader, Prime Minister Humza Yousaf, abruptly resigned on Monday, shaking up Scottish politics ahead of this year’s general election.

Yousaf also served as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which was hit by a financial scandal.

Announcing his resignation from the podium at Bute House, his official residence, Yousaf said he felt his party’s long-held ambition for Scottish independence was “frustrating”. But in reality, after 17 years in power, the SNP’s dream still seems as distant.

Yousaf faced a threatening series of votes of no confidence in the Scottish Parliament this week after breaking the power-sharing deal between the SNP and the Scottish Green Party.

Without the Greens, the SNP is left with a minority government – ​​and Yousaf appears to be the first casualty of this new reality.

The SNP and Greens had previously worked together under a deal struck by Yousaf’s predecessor, which strengthened the Greens’ agenda to rapidly decarbonise Scotland to achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions.

The problem for the SNP was that Scotland still had a fossil fuel economy, based on oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

The Greens also wanted to tighten rent controls and ban conversion therapy, while the SNP wanted to “suspend” access to puberty blockers for under-18s.

Yousaf said he would continue serving as prime minister until his party elects his replacement. He has 28 days to do so.

With this announcement, the Scottish National Party finds itself at rock bottom.

Former long-serving first minister Nicola Sturgeon resigned in February 2023, suggesting she was tired of the spotlight and missed having coffee with a friend or taking a peaceful walk.

“In my head and in my heart I know the time is now,” Sturgeon said.

Last week, Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, was charged with embezzling funds from the Scottish National Party, which could include the purchase of a recreational vehicle worth $120,000 found parked at his mother’s home .

Murrell was chief executive of the SNP for 22 years. Sturgeon herself was questioned by police detectives but released without any charges being filed. The couple’s home was searched.

In his remarks on his resignation, Yousaf said that as a boy born to Pakistani immigrants in Glasgow, “people who looked like me were not in positions of power”.

Today, “the evidence is quite to the contrary,” Yousaf said, pointing to himself, the Zambian-born Prime Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose parents of Indian origin immigrated. to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s.

Following his resignation, Yousaf will continue to serve in the Scottish Parliament.

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