Humza Haroon Yousaf, a highly acclaimed Scottish politician, has become popular as the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, abbreviated as SNP, since March 2023. Humza Yousaf previously served as a predecessor to Nicola Sturgeon as justice secretary from 2018 to 2021 as well as health secretary from 2021 to 2023; in addition to that, the politician had also served as a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow Pollok constituency since 2016. The political personality had previously represented the Glasgow region (2011-2016).
A Detailed Insight
Born to Pakistani immigrants in Glasgow, Humza Haroon Yousaf, popularly known as Humza Yousaf, studied politics at the University of Glasgow. After that, he started working as a parliamentary assistant for Bashir Ahmad. After Ahmad died, Yousaf started working as a parliamentary assistant for Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. Before he got elected to parliament in 2011, Humza Yousaf worked in the SNP’s HQ as a communications officer. A junior minister under Salmond in 2012, Humza Yousaf until 2014 served as the minister for external affairs and international development.
Yousaf introduced the controversial hate crime bill. 2021 updates highlight that Humza Yousaf was appointed the health secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Humza Yousaf was also responsible for the NHS’ recovery, in addition to the mass rollout of the vaccination programme.
On 29 March 2023, Humza Yousaf became the youngest, first Scottish Asian and Muslim to serve in office.
Since his early years, Yousaf has been involved in community work, working for youth organizations to charity fundraising. Also, he took up the mission of providing food packages to homeless people in Glasgow.
Yousaf joined the SNP in 2005, and that was when he was studying at Glasgow University. Humza Yousaf started campaigning for the SNP, and later Yousaf found his first job in the Scottish parliament.
In 2006, Humza Yousaf worked in an O2 call center. Later he started working as the parliamentary assistant for Bashir Ahmad.
In 2008, Humza Yousaf participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program and was awarded the “Future Force of Politics”.
Police caught Mr Yousaf once driving a friend’s car without insurance.
Mr Yousaf claimed that he had committed an “honest mistake” and was fined £300 with six penalty points added to his license.
Nicola Sturgeon, On 15 February 2023, announced resigning the leadership of the Scottish National Party as well as First Minister of Scotland, leading to a leadership election within the SNP. 18 February marked Yousaf declaring his candidacy and commitment to challenging the UK Government over blocking the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill decision.
Yousaf launched a leadership campaign and reaffirmed his commitment to defend the Scottish Parliament against the UK Government’s Section 35 order.[
Yousaf was questioned on why he missed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014.
27 March 2023 marked that Yousaf had won the leadership race with 52% of the vote. Humza Yousaf proudly accepted the leadership at Murrayfield Stadium, promising to lead the party in the interest of all its members.
On 29 March 2023, Humza Yousaf became the youngest, first Scottish Asian and Muslim to hold office.
Humza Yousaf’s Win Celebrated as a Big Victory for the SNP Establishment
Humza Yousaf replaced Nicola Sturgeon as party leader and was elected as an MSP in 2011. When he was just 26, he became the youngest MSP to enter Holyrood.
Humza Yousaf got appointed minister for external affairs and international development in 2012, and that was when he became the first non-white and Muslim minister in Holyrood.
After a cabinet reshuffle in 2018, Humza Yousaf got promoted to justice secretary. Later he took on the mantle of health secretary in 2021.
During his campaign, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, Mr Yousaf, pledged to “work tirelessly”, especially towards improving the rights of women and girls.
The First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party also announced that he would make the best efforts to give youngsters from deprived backgrounds free football club memberships while also increasing the Scottish child payment.
Yousaf stated in 2023 that he is going to be “firmly committed to equality for everyone” and is also going to support same-sex marriage and gender reforms for trans people vowing to secure the rights of the LGBT community when Scotland gains independence.
SNP’s ‘Own Goal.’
As health secretary, The First Minister of Scotland, and leader of the Scottish National Party, Mr Yousaf is now under fire over the state of Scotland’s NHS.
A&E performance has witnessed improvement, but there have been loopholes in the treatment time targets.
Mr Yousaf was also questioned as to why he is still in government.
The 37-year-old confirmed himself as Scotland’s first minister, and will make history as the first ethnic minority leader of a devolved government alongside being the first Muslim to lead a major UK party.