Mr Yousaf, the minister for external affairs and international development, said his Scottish Government colleague was the “ideal candidate” to succeed Nicola Sturgeon.
Mr Brown, right, who is also Scotland’s minister for veterans, has put himself forward after Ms Sturgeon confirmed she was standing for SNP leader and First Minister – a position that will become vacant next month when Alex Salmond steps down in the wake of the independence referendum defeat.
While no one is expected to challenge Ms Sturgeon for the top job, Stewart Hosie, the SNP Treasury spokesman at Westminster, has also announced he is standing for the deputy’s position.
Mr Yousaf, who was appointed a minister just over a year after being elected as an MSP, said: “Keith Brown is the ideal candidate for deputy leader of the SNP.’’
Describing him as trustworthy and charismatic, he added: “He’s got a fine record in government and his organisational skills are second to none; he’s shown he can take complex ministerial departments and get results from them - housing, transport, schools, apprenticeships and veterans’ affairs have all benefited from his work and the growing membership of the SNP can benefit as well.’’