Sunday, 14 Apr 2024

The new SNP leader who wants to ditch the monarchy

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The SNP’s newly elected leader, Humza Yousaf has previously called for Scotland to abandon the monarchy after independence. Yousaf, seen as the Sturgeon continuity candidate by many, emerged victorious on Monday after a bruising five-week contest that exposed deep fractures within the pro-independence movement.

Yousaf, is to be confirmed as first minister by Scottish lawmakers on Tuesday.

While it is not yet clear how the 37-year-old now plans to meet the challenges of uniting the SNP and reenergizing its campaign for Scottish independence, here is what is known about Yousaf’s political career so far…

In 2012, Mr Yousaf became the first Muslim to be appointed to the Scottish government, before this he had worked as an office manager for the SNP’s Bashir Ahmad, the first MSP from an Asian and Muslim background, and also worked for other MSPs, including former leaders Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

He became a transport minister in 2016 and was fined £300 for driving a friend’s car without insurance.

Two years later he became justice secretary, introducing the Hate Crime and Public Order bill which made “stirring up hatred” on religion, sexual orientation, age, disability and transgender identities an offence.

He also worked as international development minister before becoming the health secretary in 2021.

Mr Yousaf faced some criticism within this role, over long waiting times and his comments urging the public to “think twice” before dialling 999 in September 2021 – during the pandemic.

What has he said on the monarchy?

During the SNP leadership campaign, Mr Yousaf said Scotland could ditch the monarchy within five years of independence.

He insisted Scots should not be “shy” about the debate on the future of the Royal Family and said he is “very clear” he is a Republican.

The Scottish Tories accused Mr Yousaf of “shamelessly pandering” to anti-monarchist SNP members.

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