Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf resigns after ending his power-sharing agreement

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf speaks to the media during a visit to a housing development on April 26, 2024 in Dundee, Scotland. 

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf resigned Monday after the collapse of his power-sharing agreement with the country’s Green Party.

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Yousaf was facing a vote of no confidence that he was not expected to survive, after he broke off the agreement with the Green Party last week.

“In ending the Bute House agreement in the manner I did, I clearly underestimated the level of hurt and upset I caused Green colleagues. For a minority government to be able to govern effectively and efficiently, trust in working with the opposition is clearly fundamental,” he said in a press conference Monday.

He said he had “concluded that repairing relationships across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm.”

Yousaf said he had asked the SNP to hold a leadership contest as soon as possible and would remain in post until a new leader is appointed.

His decision to end the SNP’s formal partnership with the Greens, in the hope that the SNP would rule as a minority government with their backing on some issues, was strongly criticized by Green Party members.

The SNP, which failed to win a majority in the 2021 Holyrood elections, faces an electoral threat from the Labour party in U.K.-wide elections due to be held at some point this year.

Yousaf has served as Scotland’s first minister for a little over a year, taking over from longstanding leader Nicola Sturgeon, who announced her surprise resignation in February 2023.

Sturgeon has been investigated by police as part of a probe into party finances. Her husband Peter Murrell was charged with embezzlement earlier this month.

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.

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