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Scotland: Humza Yousaf set to become First Minister of Scotland

Second South Asian after Rishi Sunak to head top post in United Kingdom


Following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation, SNP members have elected the new party leader in the 2023 Leadership Election, held between 13 March and 27 March 2023.

The 37-year-old son of Asian immigrants is now set to become the first person of Pakistani heritage and a Muslim, to serve as Scotland’s first minister, less than six months after Rishi Sunak became the first British prime minister of Indian heritage.

The new leader of the SNP is Humza Yousaf.

The final number of eligible members was 72,169.

A total of 50,494 ballot papers containing a valid vote were received – 48,645 cast electronically, and 1,849 by post. There were 3 rejected postal ballot papers. The turnout was, therefore, 70%.

In his victory speech he said:

My final thanks is to my grandparents, who unfortunately are no longer alive to see this day. I am forever thankful that my grandparents made the trip from the Punjab to Scotland over 60 years ago.

As immigrants to this country, who knew barely a word of English, they could not have imagined their grandson would one day be on the cusp of being the next First Minister of Scotland.

As Muhammad Yousaf worked in the Singer Sewing Machine Factory in Clydebank, and as Rehmat Ali Bhutta stamped tickets on the Glasgow Corporation Buses, they couldn’t have imagined, in their wildest dreams, that two generations later their grandson would one day be Scotland’s First Minister.

We should all take pride in the fact that today we have sent a clear message, that your colour of skin, your faith, is not a barrier to leading the country we all call home.

From the Punjab to our Parliament, this is a journey over generations that reminds us that we should celebrate migrants who contribute so much to our country.

It is what drives my commitment to equality that will underpin my actions as First Minister.

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