Scottish First Minister Yousaf vows to win no-confidence vote

By Thomson Reuters Apr 26, 2024 | 9:25 AM

LONDON (Reuters) -Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf said on Friday he intended to fight a vote of no confidence called by political opponents following his decision to withdraw from a coalition agreement and try to run a minority government.

“I’m quite confident, very confident in fact, that I’ll be able to win that vote of no confidence,” he told Sky News.

Scottish National Party leader Yousaf ended an alliance with the Scottish Greens after a dispute over a decision to scrap a climate change emissions reduction target last week.

The Scottish arm of the Conservative Party that governs Britain then said it would seek to topple Yousaf with a no-confidence motion, calling him a “lame duck”.

His position now hangs on a knife-edge vote after almost all other parties, including his former coalition partners, said they would vote against him.

With the Conservatives, Labour, Greens and Liberal Democrats all indicating they have no confidence in Yousaf, he would need the support of Ash Regan – a one-time leadership rival to Yousaf who acrimoniously left the SNP last year – to cling on as first minister.

If Yousaf lost, parliament would have 28 days to choose a new first minister before an election was forced.


The Scottish Labour Party said they would bring a separate motion of no confidence in the government, which could lead to Scottish elections more immediately.

“It would be untenable for the SNP to assume it can impose another unelected First Minister on Scotland,” leader Anas Sarwar said in a statement, saying an election was needed to give Scotland a “fresh start.”

Labour are seeking to regain ground in their former Scottish heartlands after more than a decade of domination by the SNP, and polls indicate they have recovered support as the SNP has faltered.

While the Conservatives said they would also support Labour’s motion, they said it was tactically naive as the Greens might not back it, handing Yousaf a lifeline.

Green lawmaker Mark Ruskell hinted that he would not vote for no confidence in the government overall, saying “it was the poor judgement of Humza in ending the (coalition agreement) that is in question, not the record of the SNP/Green (government).”

(Reporting by Sarah Young and Alistair Smout, writing by William James; Editing by Kate Holton and Sachin Ravikumar)