Humza Yousaf QUITS as First Minister of Scotland as SNP government in turmoil

HUMZA Yousaf has sensationally quit as First Minister of Scotland.

Mr Yousaf dropped his resignation bombshell in a stunning announcement that leaves the SNP’s minority government in total disarray.

Humza Yousaf resigns during speech at Bute House

Mr Yousaf broke down in tears during his resignation speech

Humza Yousaf has sensationally resigned as First Minister amid turmoil at Holyrood

We told earlier how the embattled Nats leader was set to quit today after hopes of surviving a no confidence vote this week faded.

He threw in the towel days after binning Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater from his top table by ending the so-called Bute House Agreement.

His exit comes in the wake of enormous criticism over his decision to eject the Scottish Greens from the three-year power-sharing deal.

It left him clinging to power and relying on the support of Alba Party MSP Ash Regan to stand any chance of surviving a confidence vote called by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross.

But he has today decided to walk rather than face the possibility of being booted out by the parliament.

Mr Yousaf confirmed his resignation in a tearful lunchtime statement from Bute House in Edinburgh.

He broke down in tears as he confirmed he had resigned as SNP leader but said he will continue as First Minister until his successor was elected.

Mr Yousaf said: “Unfortunately in ending the Bute House Agreement in the matter I did I clearly underestimate the level of hurt and upset that caused Green colleagues.

“For a minority government to be able to govern effectively trust when working with the opposition is clearly fundamental.”

He added a route through the no-confidence vote was “absolutely possible”.

But he added: “I am not willing to trade in my values or principles or do deals with whomever simply for retaining power.”

Mr Yousaf said: “After spending the weekend reflecting on what is best for my party, for the government and for the country I lead, I have concluded that repairing our relationship across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm.

“I have therefore informed the SNP’s national secretary of my intention to stand down as party leader and ask that she commences a leadership contest for my replacement as soon as possible.”

Appearing to fight back tears, he said: “I am in absolute debt to my wonderful wife, my beautiful children and my wider family for putting up with me over the years. I’m afraid you will be seeing a lot more of me from now.

“You are truly everything to me.”

It’s understood senior nationalists have approached former SNP leader John Swinney, who also served as deputy to Nicola Sturgeon, about taking over as interim leader.

Humza and wife Nadia El-Nakla arriving at Bute House earlier todayPA

ReutersHis exit comes in the wake of criticism over his decision to eject the Scottish Greens[/caption]

AlamyHe was elected to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader in 2023[/caption]

We told previously how Mr Harvie and  Ms Slater were called to Bute House early last Thursday and left before the cabinet meeting.

Mr Yousaf then held a press conference after the cabinet meeting and confirmed that the Bute House Agreement had been scrapped, axing the power-sharing deal with the Greens.

The sensational decision follows mounting pressure on the First Minister to end the deal between the parties, which was agreed by Ms Sturgeon in 2021.

Speaking last week, Mr Yousaf said: “It is no longer guaranteeing a stable arrangement in Parliament, the events of recent days have made that clear, and therefore, after careful consideration, I believe that going forward it is in the best interest of the people of Scotland to pursue a different arrangement.

“That is why, following a discussion with my Cabinet this morning, I have formally notified Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater that I am terminating the Bute House Agreement with immediate effect.”

More to follow…

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