Scotland's Hamza Youssef resigns – The Washington Post

LONDON – Scotland's leader and first minister, Hamza Yousaf, abruptly resigned on Monday, shaking up Scottish politics ahead of a general election later this year.

Yusuf also served as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which has been plagued by financial scandals.

Announcing his resignation from the podium at Bute House, his official home, Yussoff said he felt his party's long-term ambition for Scottish independence was “frustratingly close”. But in reality, after 17 years in power, the SNP's dream is as remote as ever.

Yussuf faced the threat of a no-confidence vote in the Scottish Parliament this week after scrapping the SNP's power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens.

Without the Greens, the SNP is left with a minority government – and Youssef appears to be the first casualty of that new reality.

The SNP and Greens previously worked together under Yussuf's predecessor's deal, which bolstered the Greens' agenda to rapidly decarbonise Scotland to achieve “net zero” emissions of greenhouse gases.

The problem for the SNP is that Scotland still has a fossil fuel economy based on the extraction of oil and gas in the North Sea.

The Greens wanted to strengthen rent controls and ban so-called conversion therapy, while the SNP wanted to “pause” access to puberty blockers for under-18s.

He said Yusuf would continue to serve as prime minister when his party elected him as prime minister. You have 28 days to do this.

With this announcement, the Scottish National Party has hit a new low.

Former long-serving first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who resigned in February 2023, said she found the attention tiring and missed having coffee with a friend or going for a quiet walk.

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“In my head and in my heart, I knew now was the time,” Sturgeon said.

Last week, Sturgeon's husband, Peter Murrell, was charged with embezzling funds from the Scottish National Party, including the purchase of a $120,000 recreational vehicle found at his mother's home.

Murrell served as chief executive of the SNP for 22 years. Sturgeon himself was questioned by police detectives but was released without charge. A search was conducted at the couple's home.

In his resignation notes, Yusuf said that, as a boy born to Pakistani immigrants in Glasgow, “people who look like me are not in positions of power”.

Today, “the evidence is completely to the contrary,” Yusuf points out himself, as well as the First Minister of Wales, Zambian-born Vaughan Gething and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose parents are of Indian origin. East Africa to Britain in the 1960s.

After stepping down, Youssef will continue to work from the backbenches of the Scottish Parliament.

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