Yousaf thanks King for ‘counsel and kindness’ in resignation letter as FM

Humza Yousaf has thanked the King for his “counsel and kindness” in his letter formally tendering his resignation as Scotland’s First Minister.

Mr Yousaf will make a a final speech to MSPs this afternoon, enabling the Scottish Parliament to vote on his successor.

John Swinney, who was installed unopposed as the new SNP leader on Monday, is expected to win that vote – though with his party not having an overall majority at Holyrood, he will need to rely on MSPs from at least one other party to either back him in the ballot or abstain.

Humza Yousaf resignation letter
Mr Yousaf wrote that he is grateful for the King’s ‘counsel and kindness’ (Jane Barlow/PA)

He wrote his resignation would take effect from the start of plenary business at Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon and thanked Charles for his “kindness” to him and his wife Nadia.

He wrote: “Throughout my time as First Minister, I have been most grateful for your counsel and the kindness that you have shown to both Nadia and I.

“It has been my pleasure to serve Your Majesty and the people of Scotland since March 2023.”

The vote on the new first minister comes after Mr Yousaf announced last Monday he would be stepping down from the role.

That followed his decision to end the powersharing deal between the SNP and Scottish Greens at Holyrood, angering the smaller pro-independence party and leaving him facing a vote of no confidence in his leadership that he was unlikely to win.

Faced with the prospect of defeat, Me Yousaf stepped down from the role, with the SNP forced to find its second leader in just over a year.

Assuming he is voted in by the Scottish Parliament, Mr Swinney will need to be sworn in at the Court of Session in Edinburgh before officially becoming first minister.

He can then get on with the business of appointing his cabinet, before going on to to take First Minister’s Questions on Thursday.

Mr Swinney said on Monday he was “deeply honoured” to have been appointed SNP leader, and also said he would “give all that I have to serve my party and my country”.

It marks the second time he has served as SNP leader – though when Mr Swinney held the role previously between 2000 and 2004, the party was in opposition at Holyrood.

His appointment on Monday, however, will mean that the man who was Scotland’s longest-serving deputy first minister – a position he held under Nicola Sturgeon – will now take on the top job in Scottish politics.

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