Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsPolitics

Who is Humza Yousaf, Scottish National Party's newly elected leader?

Humza Yousaf also happens to be the first ethnic minority candidate to win a constituency seat in the Scottish Parliament.

March 28, 2023 / 10:44 AM IST

Humza Yousaf has been elected as the first minority ethnic leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP). He is all set to become Scotland’s first ethnic minority first minister.

The 37 year old politician is the first candidate of Islamic faith to lead a major party in the United Kingdom.

Yousaf narrowly defeated Kate Forbes in a contentious race to succeed former First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. Though Sturgeon did not explicitly back any of the candidates in the contest, Yousaf was overwhelmingly backed by most senior SNP members.

The 37 year old, Glasgow born politician originally hails from Pakistan, his father emigrated to Scotland with his family in the 1960s. Yousaf's mother was born into a South Asian family in Kenya.

Yousaf studied at Hutchesons' Grammar private school in Glasgow. After finishing his studies in politics at Glasgow University, he briefly worked in a call centre before becoming a parliamentary assistant to SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament(MSP), Bashir Ahmad according to a report by the British Broadcasting Channel website.

Yousaf has also served as an aide to Alex Salmond,the former First Minister of Scotland. Yousaf was elected as a list MSP for the Glasgow region in 2011 with Salmond. Post which he was promoted to Scotland's minister for Europe and International Development just a year later.

He became Transport Minister in 2016 after winning from the Glasgow Pollok constituency from the Labour Party. Yousaf also happens to be the first ethnic minority candidate to win a constituency seat in the Scottish Parliament.

Yousaf has also served as Scotland's health secretary. His tenure has been criticised for an incident which happened in May 2021, when Yousaf had to issue an apology for "undue alarm" when he ha wrongly claimed that 10 children had been hospitalised because of Covid.

Independent public body Audit Scotland claimed in a report that the Scottish healthcare system was 'facing unprecedented challenges'
and the Scottish government needed to be more transparent about what
progress is or is not being achieved.

The audit report claims that the proportion of patients seen within the four-hour target at Accident and Emergency departments was falling and hundreds of thousands of Scottish citizens were waiting for hospital procedures, outpatients appointments and diagnostic tests.

Expressing his views about monarchy, Yousaf has said an independent Scotland should look at ditching the monarchy. He told the National newspaper in an interview, "Let's absolutely, within the first five years, consider whether or not we should move away from having a monarchy into an elected head of state".

Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 28, 2023 10:44 am