Hamza Yusuf resigns as First Minister of Scotland news

Yusuf's decision comes as the opposition faces defeat in two confidence votes.

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and Scottish First Minister Hamza Yusuf has resigned.

Yussuf ended the SNP's alliance with the Scottish Greens, prompting two no-confidence votes tabled by opposition parties that looked likely to defeat Yussuf.

“I am not ready to trade my values ​​and principles or make a deal with anyone to retain power,” Yusuf said during a televised announcement.

The pro-independence SNP's fortunes have floundered amid financial fraud and the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as party leader last year. An internal struggle continued over how progressive the party should present its policies as it sought to win back voters.

Earlier this month, Yusuf said he was “very confident” he could win the no-confidence vote. However, by Monday, it is uncertain whether he will hold talks with other parties to strengthen his minority government.

Yusuf, the Muslim leader of a major political party and Scotland's youngest elected leader, said last week he had underestimated the extent of the damage after concluding a devolution deal with the Scottish Greens.

“I have decided that mending the relationship across political divides can only be done with someone else at the helm,” he said.

Yussoff's resignation as SNP leader prompts a search for a successor and consequently a new First Minister. The Scottish Parliament has 28 days to approve any replacement in office. If no majority is obtained, an election will be held.

During his resignation speech, Yusuf called for the leadership race to begin as soon as possible to find his replacement. Till then he will continue as Chief Minister.

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'Never Dreamed'

Born in Glasgow, Yusuf, whose paternal grandparents and father emigrated to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1960s, was hailed as a polished communicator who believed the SNP could unite the fractured SNP.

He took office in March 2023 after winning a leadership battle with support for the SNP's central policy – independence for Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

His tenure lasted only one year. “Politics can be a brutal business,” a tearful Yusuf said on Monday.

However, he reflected on the historicity of his time in power, noting that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's ethnic background was also South Asian.

“I could never have dreamed that one day, I would have the privilege of leading my country,” he said. “When I was young people who looked like me were not in positions of political influence, let alone leading governments.”

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