Yousaf will not resign as Scotland’s first minister

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Humza Yousaf says he will be inviting talks with opposition parties to try to “make minority government work”

Humza Yousaf has said he will not resign as Scotland’s first minister and intends to carry on in the role.

Mr Yousaf is fighting for his political future ahead of a no-confidence vote next week.

He said he was confident he will win the vote, and that he hoped the Scottish Greens would change their mind about voting to remove him.

He also said he would “absolutely” lead the SNP into the general election and the 2026 Holyrood election.

Mr Yousaf denied claims by his opponents that he is now a “lame duck” first minister following the collapse on Thursday of the SNP’s power-sharing agreement with the Greens.

The two pro-independence parties had formed the Scottish government since 2021, with Mr Yousaf now planning to run a minority government in the Scottish Parliament.

It means the government will not have enough seats in parliament to pass laws without the support of some opposition MSPs.

Mr Yousaf will write to opposition party leaders – including the Greens – to ask them to meet him in an attempt to “make minority government work”.

He said of the Greens: “I do hope they will reconsider their position because there is a lot of issues, a lot of priorities, that both the SNP and the Greens share”.

Mr Yousaf said ending the power-sharing deal was the right thing to do, but he did not mean to upset or anger the Greens.

He said he hoped to work with opposition parties “issue by issue” in order to “deliver for the people of Scotland”, but acknowledged that minority government was “tough”.

The first minister was speaking during a visit in Dundee that was arranged at short notice after he pulled out of a speech on independence in Glasgow.

He used the visit to announce £80m of funding for affordable housing projects in Scotland.

Mr Yousaf is battling to save his position after his former Green allies vowed to oppose him in a no confidence motion that was lodged by the Scottish Conservatives.

The Conservatives have said that Mr Yousaf “needs to go”, with leader Douglas Ross saying: “Humza Yousaf has failed Scotland, his government is in meltdown and, despite his bluster, he knows he’s finished.

“He has the cheek to claim he now seeks compromise with opposition parties when he and the SNP have divided Scotland at every turn. The only letter I want to see from Humza Yousaf is one announcing his resignation.”

The vote is expected to be held next week. Mr Yousaf would not be obliged to stand down if he loses – but would be expected to do so.

Mr Yousaf’s future could depend on the support of Alba MSP Ash Regan – who quit the SNP after losing to him in the party’s leadership contest

With Labour and the Liberal Democrats saying they will join the Conservatives and Greens in voting against him, Mr Yousaf would lose the confidence vote unless he wins the support of Alba Party MSP Ash Regan.

Ms Regan is a former SNP MSP who was defeated by Mr Yousaf in last year’s party leadership contest before later defecting to Alba, which is led by Alex Salmond.

Mr Yousaf said at the time that she was “not a particularly great loss”, and the BBC understands he would find it difficult to come to an arrangement with her.

Ms Regan – a vocal critic of the Scottish government’s policies on trans rights and its partnership with the Greens – said she wanted to see progress on Scottish independence, competent government and defending “the rights of women and children” in return for her backing.

She said: “I would relish the opportunity to sit down and talk through these areas and see if there are areas where we might be able to agree and work together”.

Labour has also announced that they intend to hold a vote of no confidence in the Scottish government as a whole, which could lead to an election if it succeeds. The Scottish Lib Dems have said they will support the motion, meaning it will pass the threshold of 25 MSPs required to secure a debate.

Humza Yousaf is putting on a brave face in sunny Dundee.

For 30 minutes or so he toured a housing development in an attempt to demonstrate he was getting on with the business of governing.

He popped in and out of a portable building, he donned a high vis vest, he made small talk with the workers.

That was the easy part. Next he made his way to a cluster of cameras to face dozens of tough questions, or more accurately dozens of very similar questions.

We learned that he was fighting on and that he does not appear to have given up on winning back the support of the Greens, despite their insistence that their position won’t change.

When asked whether he would accept the demands of Alba’s Ash Regan on independence, competent government and “protecting the dignity, safety and rights of women and children,” he said he would set out his position by writing to all the opposition parties including Alba.

Most interestingly there was a glimpse of something close to regret, when he told me he empathised with Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater and would be writing to them.

Would that letter contain an apology for the manner of their departure from government?

The SNP leader wouldn’t say.

There was widespread unhappiness within the Greens after the government dropped a 2030 climate target, and over the decision by the Scottish NHS to pause the prescription of new puberty blockers young trans people.

The party had been planning to ask its own members if it should continue its partnership with the SNP before Mr Yousaf took the decision to end it himself.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie told the PA news agency on Friday that it was “pretty clear” that Mr Yousaf was not able to unite the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Harvie said it was now up to the SNP to find a suitable leader, and that Mr Yousaf “needs to bear the consequences of that reckless and damaging decision” to scrap the agreement with the Greens just 48 hours after saying he had no intention of ending it.

He added: “He still hasn’t really given any clarity on why he made such a dramatic U-turn and broken a promise on which he was elected as first minister.

“So it’s very difficult to see how you can have a conversation that leads to a constructive outcome on the basis of that lack of trust.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said she believed Mr Yousaf was “finished” regardless of the outcome of the confidence votes and said Scotland needed an election rather than simply a change of SNP leader.

She said: “We’ve had enough. It’s not just Humza Yousaf, it’s actually his entire government that’s failing,”


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