Humza Yousaf has been announced as the new leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) after winning against the other two candidates, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan. Yousaf, who has demonstrated proud LGBTQ+ allyship, is now set to become the youngest Scottish First Minister in history and the first one with a minority ethnic background.
More than 70,000 party members voted for the three candidates in the SNP leadership race after Nicola Sturgeon resigned as Scotland’s First Minister earlier in February. With online and postal voting taking place over the past two weeks, the final result of the ballot was announced today, March 27, at 2pm.
The new SNP leader, Humza Yousaf, must now win a vote at Holyrood, taking place tomorrow, in order to become the Scottish First Minister. His appointment will then be confirmed by the king, before he is sworn in by senior Scottish judges in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
Yousaf has closely aligned himself with his predecessor’s policies, with one of the core aspects of his campaign being his intention to challenge the UK’s decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform bill passed in Scotland last December, as Sturgeon also planned to do before resigning.
👏 Congratulations to @HumzaYousaf, elected as the new leader of the SNP and Scotland's next First Minister.
🏴 Together, let's get on with building a better Scotland. #SNPLeadership23 pic.twitter.com/6jw1zTBsGP
— The SNP (@theSNP) March 27, 2023
Questioned by Out for Independence, the LGBTQ+ wing of the SNP, on matters relevant to the queer community, he aligned himself as an ally, reiterating his support for same-sex marriage, the recognition of non-binary identities, banning conversion therapy, and more.
In contrast, his main competition in the bid to become the new SNP leader, Kate Forbes, made headlines earlier in the year after she openly admitted that she would not have voted in favour of same-sex marriage. Moreover, she stated that she had no intention of challenging the UK government’s decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform bill.
I pay tribute to all 3 candidates for @theSNP leadership for rising to the challenge.
Most of all I congratulate @HumzaYousaf and wish him every success. He will be an outstanding leader & First Minister and I could not be prouder to have him succeed me.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 27, 2023
Taking to Twitter to comment on the result, former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote: “I pay tribute to all 3 candidates for the SNP leadership for rising to the challenge. Most of all, I congratulate Humza Yousaf and wish him every success. He will be an outstanding leader & First Minister and I could not be prouder to have him succeed me.”
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