Who is the new SNP leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf?

  • Matty Sutton dived into Humza Yousaf's journey so far

Humza Yousaf is set to be Scotland's first British Asian First Minister after coming out on top in the SNP leadership contest.

But his journey to the top job has been a long one, serving under Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon before first being elected as an MSP in 2011.

Early years

Mr Yousaf attended Hutchesons' Grammar School in Glasgow and went on to study politics at Glasgow University. During his time at university, he was involved in campaigning against racism.

External Affairs minister

He landed his first ministerial job in external affairs in 2012, just a year after becoming an MSP for the first time. Part of his role involved welcoming Syrian refugees to Scotland.

Transport minister

In his role as transport minister between 2016 and 2018, Yousaf was criticised for failing to improve the south of Scotland's key trunk roads.

He also played a part in the Ferguson ferries scandal. A recent report into the fiasco identified serious failings, including Nicola Sturgeon's decision to prematurely announce the shipyard as the preferred bidder.

Following months of investigation, a Holyrood committee found taxpayers and island communities have been "badly let down" by many of those involved in the project.

The 124-page report from the Public Audit Committee is the most comprehensive account so far of the troubled programme to build the Glen Sannox and the as-yet-unnamed hull 802.

The ferries are meant to serve island communities in the west of Scotland, but are now five years late and with a price tag nearly tripled to almost £300 million.

Justice Secretary & Health Secretary

In 2018, Mr Yousaf became Justice Secretary and by 2021 he was the Health Secretary. The NHS pay deal preventing nurses and paramedics from further strikes from going on strike may be considered his biggest achievement in government.

SNP leadership contest and beyond

During the leadership election, he told the hustings in Dumfries that the town would be the first stop on his independence campaign trail.

Achieving independence and eradicating poverty are Mr Yousaf's main priorities, but healing divisions in his party may be just as important.

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