Politics

Under-fire Humza Yousaf vows to stay in power – as pressure builds on his government

A defiant Humza Yousaf has told Sky News he will not resign as Scotland’s first minister.

Pressure has been building on the SNP leader after he tore up the power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens – prompting a no-confidence motion in his leadership and a threatened knife-edge vote.

However, Mr Yousaf, on a visit to Dundee that was arranged at short notice after he pulled out of a speech in Glasgow, insisted he was getting on with the job and accused the opposition of “playing games”.

He said he would be writing to the leaders of all Scottish political parties to seek a meeting on making a minority government work.

He told Sky News’ Scotland correspondent Connor Gillies: “I intend absolutely to fight that vote of no confidence, I’ve got every intention of winning that vote of no confidence.

“And let me say to the opposition for minority government to work in the interest of the people of Scotland also requires the opposition to act in good faith.”

Mr Yousaf has been left fighting for his political survival after his former allies in the Scottish Greens vowed to vote against him in a motion of no confidence, lodged by the Tories.

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The crisis was sparked after Mr Yousaf dramatically brought the power-sharing deal with the Greens to an end on Thursday, following tensions over the SNP’s climbdown on climate targets and the decision to pause the prescription of new puberty blockers at Scotland’s only gender clinic for young people.

The ditching of the deal, branded an act of “political cowardice” by the Greens, means the SNP will now operate as a minority administration at Holyrood.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Yousaf said: “And to the Greens I’ve obviously heard their anger, their upset.

“What I will do is be writing to all the political party leaders, all the party groups represented in the Scottish parliament including of course (Green co-leaders) Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater asking them to meet with me, to say how do we make minority government work.

“It’s in the best interests of the people of Scotland that all of us act in good faith and make it work.”

Scottish Labour has also lodged a no-confidence motion in the entire devolved government – rather than just Mr Yousaf.

If that passes, it could trigger a parliamentary election in Holyrood.

The country’s Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “It’s a matter now of when – not if – Humza Yousaf will step down as first minister.

“It would be untenable for the SNP to assume it can impose another unelected first minister on Scotland.”

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