Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf, who is pro-Erdogan and of Pakistani origin, resigns amid controversy

Humza Yousaf Scotland

Humza Yousaf confirmed he is resigning as First Minister of Scotland, saying he was unwilling to trade his principles just to win a no-confidence vote.

"After spending the weekend reflecting on what is best for my party, for the government and for the country I lead, I’ve concluded that repairing our relationship across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm," Yousaf said.

"I have therefore informed the SNP’s national secretary of my intention to stand down as party leader," he added.

The Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said his party forced Humza Yousaf to resign by tabling a no-confidence motion last week.

Ross said: "We have forced Humza Yousaf out of office for repeatedly failing Scotland. Faced with our vote of no confidence, the SNP leader has quit rather than face a humiliating defeat. As he leaves office, on a personal level, I wish Humza Yousaf and his family well. But we cannot forgive the damage he did to families and households across Scotland by raising taxes, letting NHS waiting lists spiral and attacking free speech."

His resignation comes only four days after he hosted a press conference to announce the end of the Bute House coalition agreement with the Scottish Greens, which cemented a progressive pro-independence majority in the Scottish parliament.

The Greens reacted furiously to the end of the coalition, and they immediately agreed to support a motion of no confidence in Yousaf’s leadership, which was brought by the Scottish Conservatives.

His considerations are further complicated by a second no-confidence vote against the Scottish government, brought by Scottish Labour, which would require the first minister and his ministers to resign if successful.

With the SNP two votes short of a majority at Holyrood, the parliamentary arithmetic is such that this leaves Yousaf dependent on the vote of the former SNP minister Ash Regan, who defected to Alex Salmond’s Alba party last October in protest at the SNP’s stance on gender recognition reform and lack of progress on independence.

At the beginning of the year, Yousaf defended his invitation for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to visit his country despite the Turkish president's woeful human rights record.

The now former Scottish first minister, of Pakistani origins, claimed he would raise human rights concerns with Erdoğan were they to meet in Scotland.

The Greens criticised the invite at the time.

Asked about the invitation to the Turkish president, Yousaf told reporters at Holyrood: "I said the next time he's in the United Kingdom, why not come up to Scotland."

He added, "Why on earth would Scotland not seek to engage with a NATO ally and, of course, with somebody we would seek to do business and trade with?"

Yousaf said he would raise human rights concerns "as I tend to do whenever I have meetings with international leaders."

He added: "But I should say, of course, we do that in a way that also recognises we're on a human rights journey as are other countries."

Ultimately, the Yousaf-Erdogan meeting will not materialise as the former First Minister had hoped.

READ MORE: Turkey Embeds Expansionist Claims in School Textbooks.

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