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Humza Yousaf Wins SNP Leadership Race

Humza Yusef will replace Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP

3 min read

Humza Yousaf has been elected as the new leader of the SNP after defeating rival candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan.

Yousaf, 37, who was widely seen as the continuity candidate, will take over from Nicola Sturgeon, who led the party since 2014.

He is expected to be confirmed as first minister tomorrow following a vote in the Scottish Parliament.

After the result was announced, Yousaf said he was the “the luckiest man in the world”.

He said: “To serve my country as first minister will be the greatest honour of my life, should parliament decide to elect me as first minister tomorrow.

“And just as I was lead the SNP in the interests of all party members, not just those who voted for me, so I will aim to lead Scotland in the interests of all our citizens whatever your political allegiance.

“If elected your first minister after tomorrow’s vote, know that I will be a first minister for all of Scotland. That I will work every minute of every day to earn and re-earn your respect and your trust.”

Yousaf initially won 24,336 votes, 48.2 per cent of all those cast. As no candidate won more than 50 per cent of the votes, Ash Regan was eliminated.

The final result saw Yousaf win 26,032 (52.1 per cent) to Forbes' 23,890 (47.9 per cent).

The overall turnout was 70 per cent with a total of 50,494 votes cast.  

Forbes said: “I issue my warmest congratulations to Humza.

“I’ve been proud to share a platform with both him and Ash over the last five weeks, and I know we will continue to work together, to make the lives of all of Scotland’s people better on the next stage of our journey to independence.

“Whatever the robust disagreements or frank exchanges of the last few weeks, I am confident we will unite behind Humza as our new party leader in the shared and common objective of independence.”

Currently health secretary, Yousaf has held briefs including transport and justice during his time in government.

He was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, having previously worked for the SNP.

During the leadership contest, Yousaf said he would go to court to challenge the UK government’s decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

He has pledged to tackle poverty and argued that his party must build a case for Scottish independence. He has also indicated his willingness to look again at Scotland's controversial National Care Service.

This breaking story originally appeared in Holyrood.

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