Humza Yousaf elected First Minister of Scotland in Scottish Parliament vote
The newly-appointed SNP leader won the backing of a majority of MSPs in a vote at Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Yousaf, who held the health portfolio entering the SNP leadership race, won 71 votes to be officially appointed as Nicola Sturgeon’s successor, thanks to the support of the Scottish Green party.
Scottish Tories leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar and Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton had also nominated themselves in the vote to become the country’s next First Minister.
The 31 Tory MSPs voted for Douglas Ross while 22 of the Labour contingent voted for Anas Sarwar.
The four Lib Dem MSPs back their leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.
MSPs were also given the opportunity to abstain in the vote.
Humza Yousaf referred to the fact that he and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who also put his name forward for the role of first minister, are of Pakistani Muslim heritage in his speech to MSPs. He said: “It’s also quite a signal of the progress that we have made as a country, as well as a parliament, that two of the candidates putting themselves forward are from minority ethnic communities.
“That the majority of MSPs in this Parliament belong to parties led by two people of colour, two people of the Muslim faith.
“The fact that no-one bats an eyelid at this tells me we are making progress in our nation for which we should all be very, very proud.”
He said his Government would “listen carefully and pay respect” to the views of all MSPs while standing up to any attempts to “undermine devolution”.
The vote comes after Nicola Sturgeon officially tendered her resignation as First Minister to King Charles III on Tuesday and left Bute House for the final time.
After eight years in the top job, Ms Sturgeon last month announced she would step down when her successor had been chosen by SNP members.
Mr Yousaf’s selection at Holyrood follows him winning the SNP leadership contest on Monday, beating closest rival Kate Forbes by 52% of votes to 48%, when second preferences were included.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.