Humza yousaf

Humza Yousaf quits – what next?

14 min listen

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has just announced his intention to resign. Lucy Dunn speaks to Katy Balls and Spectator contributor Iain Macwhirter about how the past few weeks have led to this point and what to expect from an SNP leadership contest.

Can Humza Yousaf hang on?

11 min listen

Humza Yousaf faces the biggest crisis of his leadership to date – with his fate in the hands of former SNP leadership rival Ash Regan. Will Humza step down before he is pushed? Or is there a narrow gap through which the First Minister can fight on? Lucy Dunn speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls. 

Humza Yousaf and his ridiculous, feigned outrage

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf is a politician with two settings. If he’s being asked about a difficult issue – the Police Scotland investigation into SNP finances, for example, or his government’s failure to deliver its policies – he does a reasonable approximation of sincerity, all soft voice and sad eyes. You can see the parts moving but, credit to the man, he gives it a go. At all other times, Yousaf is in outrage mode, shuddering with fury at this or that decision of the UK Government. The First Minister maximises the opportunities for public displays of anger by – in common with all populist nationalists – absolving himself

Can things get worse for the SNP?

16 min listen

It’s been quite the week for the SNP. Questions remain over the future of the Sandyford gender clinic, ‘the tartan Tavistock’; the Scottish government ditched its flagship climate change target; and former party chief executive, and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell was rearrested on embezzlement charges.  What does this all mean for the SNP? Lucy Dunn speaks to Iain Macwhirter, columnist at The Times, and Shona Craven, columnist at The National. Produced by Natasha Feroze and Patrick Gibbons

Who would lend money to Humza Yousaf?

It runs a vast budget deficit. It keeps raising taxes way above its neighbour. It spends wildly, it is at war with its major industry, and its former leader has been arrested over an investigation into missing party funds. But, heck, never mind about that. Humza Yousaf, the leader of the Scottish National Party, has just decided the bond markets will now have the privilege of ignoring Switzerland and Norway for a few days and can lend a few billion to Scotland instead. There is just a small problem, however. Why would anyone want to lend money to Humza?  It was certainly an ambitious proposal. In his conference speech, Humza

Has Humza Yousaf turned things around?

15 min listen

At his first speech as SNP leader at the party’s conference, Humza Yousaf gave a policy-filled address. He hasn’t had an easy start to his leadership, but can he turn things around? Katy Balls talks to Lucy Dunn and Iain Macwhirter. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Cindy Yu.

Humza Yousaf has irreparably damaged the independence project

As the SNP gathers for its conference in Aberdeen this weekend, Humza Yousaf faces a sea of trouble. But worst of all for the party leader, he faces disillusion with the ‘divisive’ independence project itself, as expressed by Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, who has (uniquely in SNP history) left the party for the Conservatives. Don’t expect many to follow her path. However, she is not alone in rethinking her support for the SNP’s independence strategy. Others, like former Yes campaign strategist Stephen Noon, have been saying this week that the referendum route has become a dead end and that the SNP should revert to its older, incremental approach to

Will the SNP ditch ‘fringe extremist’ Greens?

Is First Minister Humza Yousaf at risk of sacrificing crucial SNP votes by refusing to ditch his party’s coalition with the Greens? That’s what a growing number of nationalist politicians are worried about. This week, the Bute House Agreement (a framework between the two parties that allows them to govern together) came under criticism from the SNP’s own politicians – and the party is as divided as ever over what to do about them.  The party’s relationship with the Greens needs to be examined, SNP backbenchers believe – and Fergus Ewing and Kate Forbes have gone so far as to call for a party member vote on the Bute House

Is Humza Yousaf’s campaign starting to sink?

The SNP leadership has turned into open civil war. Alex Salmond has shafted the frontrunner Humza Yousaf who tried to shaft Kate Forbes, who was, in turn, shafted by Nicola Sturgeon. No wonder long-suffering deputy First Minister, John Swinney, has resigned.  Swinney’s departure came on the day Salmond torpedoed Yousaf, Sturgeon’s chosen successor, by claiming he had skipped Holyrood’s landmark gay marriage vote in 2014 due to ‘religious pressure’. Yousaf says his ‘recollection is different’, but his position is now untenable. His account is contradicted by the minister who was in charge of the 2014 equal marriage vote, Alex Neil, and now the then first minister, Salmond. It is all

Five graphs that show Humza’s health service disaster

Humza Yousaf has been described as the ‘continuity candidate’ in the SNP leadership race. Yousaf remains the bookies’ favourite and has managed to avoided the media storm that his rival Kate Forbes has faced following her comments about gay marriage. But Yousaf’s own record in politics deserves some scrutiny. So how has the Scottish health secretary fared in his current role? This morning, Audit Scotland released a damning report that laid bare the full extent of Humza Yousaf’s health service crisis. It urged the Scottish government to be ‘fully transparent’ about ‘what progress is or is not being achieved’, and revealed that the health service is still nowhere close to

Six of the worst Humza Yousaf scandals

It can be a difficult task picking out the most incompetent minister in the Scottish government. There’s Sturgeon’s deputy John Swinney, the man who faced two votes of confidence in seven months. There’s Shona Robison, resurrected in May having been forced to resign in 2018 amid near-universal criticism of her management of the health brief. And of course there’s Transport minister Michael Matheson, a man with no discernible achievements to his name, now knee-deep in the ferries scandal. But of all the SNP’s top talent surely no man has blundered more regularly than Humza Yousaf. In the decade since his election to Holyrood he has established himself as the Forrest Gump

George Galloway is toxic to the Unionist cause

My mob originates, we have come to assume, from somewhere in Ireland, though exactly where we don’t know. Humza Yousaf, justice secretary in the Scottish government, was born in Glasgow to immigrant parents — one from Pakistan, the other from Kenya. We were contemporaries at university (Glasgow), I became a journalist around the time he became a politician (SNP, alas), and while I’ve long been impressed by his abilities, his smiley-sinister Hate Crime Bill confirms him to be a nightmarish fusion of Judith Butler and Mary Whitehouse. What has never occurred to me is the notion that Yousaf is less Scottish than me. If anything, I wish he’d tone it

The SNP’s radical assault on freedom of speech

When Humza Yousaf first proposed his Hate Crime Bill, I compared it to the late, unlamented Offensive Behaviour Act. Similarly rushed through Holyrood by the SNP, it sought to rid Scottish football of sectarian behaviour by, among other things, criminalising the singing of certain songs at matches. The Act didn’t specify which songs and so it was left to the discretion of a police officer overhearing a chant to decide whether or not it would be offensive to a reasonable person. Astonishingly enough, this didn’t work out and such was the fan and legal profession backlash that the Act was eventually repealed — in the teeth of SNP opposition. The