Steerpike Steerpike

Now even Humza distances himself from the SNP

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

You know your brand is struggling when even the boss wants to ditch it. For it seems that hapless Humza Yousaf has ‘done a Ratner’ today by distancing himself from the increasingly-toxic SNP brand. With his party set to lose half their seats to Labour, the flailing First Minister has decided that now is the right time to freely confess that he has ‘never really been comfortable’ with the Scottish National Party’s name.

In an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson on his Political Thinking podcast, Yousaf admitted that he did not like the connotations of the word ‘nationalist’, suggesting that the ‘national’ in the SNP’s name could be ‘misinterpreted’. Gosh, how could that ever happen to such a tolerant, inclusive movement? Yousaf’s comments came after a discussion in which Robinson pointed out the consequences of ‘destructive and dangerous’ nationalism in India and Pakistan, where Yousaf’s family traces its heritage.

The sage of South Lanarkshire insisted that there was no comparison to be made between India, Pakistan, and ‘what is happening here in Scotland’ but accepted that he had:

Never really been comfortable with the fact we have national in our party’s name. Not because the founding members of the SNP had any far-right inclination, they certainly didn’t, or any nationalist inclination the way you expressed there but because it can be misinterpreted.

Humza Yousaf: Gerald Ratner, but without the talent.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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