Yousaf disclosed in his opening speech that he was one of the few people Sturgeon had spoken to in advance about her plan to resign…reports Asian Lite News
Humza Yousaf has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Nicola Sturgeon as Scotlands first minister after pledging to uphold her socially progressive policy agenda, according to a media report.
The Scottish health secretary said on Monday that he backed Sturgeon’s stances on same-sex marriage, abortion clinic buffer zones, banning conversion practices and on gender recognition changes, The Guardian reported.
Yousaf’s hopes of succeeding Sturgeon were boosted after Angus Robertson, the culture secretary who was made the bookmakers’ favourite when Sturgeon said she would quit, announced on Monday that he would not be running for the post, the report said.
The most experienced of the potential contenders and a former leader of the Scottish National Party at Westminster, Robertson said in a tweeted statement that as the father of two young children, “the time is not right [to] take on such a huge commitment”.
That is expected to make the contest a two-candidate race between Yousaf, 37, and Kate Forbes, 32, the socially conservative Scottish finance secretary, who confirmed on Twitter that she is standing to succeed Sturgeon.
Many observers believe it became clear to Robertson that he was not supported by senior figures inside the party, and that Yousaf was Sturgeon’s favoured successor, The Guardian reported.
Yousaf disclosed in his opening speech that he was one of the few people Sturgeon had spoken to in advance about her plan to resign.
Robertson is widely blamed for mishandling Scotland’s census last year, which had to be extended after hundreds of thousands of Scots failed to fill in their returns.
Yousaf said he had chosen to launch his campaign on Monday in Clydebank, a former shipbuilding town west of Glasgow, because his grandfather Muhammed Yousaf had his first job at the nearby Singer sewing machine factory after emigrating to Scotland in 1962, The Guardian reported.
Yousaf, a practising Muslim, indicated that if Forbes became first minister and took a more conservative stance on social issues, he may not serve in her government.