Humza Yousaf made history on Monday after being elected as the leader of the Scottish National Party, a vote making him the first person of color and the first Muslim to lead the country of 5.5 million people.
“Elected as leader of @theSNP is the biggest honour of my life. If Parliament votes for me as FM tomorrow, it is my solemn commitment to serve all the people of Scotland,” Yousaf wrote on Twitter.
Elected as leader of @theSNP is the biggest honour of my life. If Parliament votes for me as FM tomorrow, it is my solemn commitment to serve all the people of Scotland.
For now, after a long day I have promised a v sleepy 3yr old I will be telling her tonight’s bed time story.
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) March 27, 2023
Yousaf, who currently serves as Scotland’s health secretary, narrowly defeated rival Kate Forbes after a grueling five-week contest to replace First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who unexpectedly stepped down last month.
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The 37-year-old Glasgow-born son of South Asian immigrants is set to be confirmed as first minister during a session of the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
Winning the race, Yousaf paid tribute to his late grandparents, who emigrated from the Punjab to Glasgow more than 60 years ago.
“They couldn’t have imagined, in their wildest dreams, that two generations later their grandson would one day be Scotland’s first minister,” he said.
“We should all take pride in the fact that today we have sent a clear message: that your color of skin, your faith, is not a barrier to leading the country we all call home.”
Meanwhile, The Muslim Council of Britain congratulated Yousaf on his historic election as the leader of the Scottish National Party and then, the first Muslim First Minister of Scotland.
“The election of Humza Yousaf is not only momentous for Scotland but also for the United Kingdom: the first leader of a British nation from a Muslim background,” Zara Mohammed, MCB Secretary General, said in a statement.
“We hope the new First Minister will actively work to address those critical challenges facing communities at this current time and be a source of great unity across communities.
“We look forward to working with the First Minister, for the common good.”
“The election of Humza Yousaf is not only momentous for Scotland but also for the United Kingdom: the first leader of a British nation from a Muslim background.” @ZaraM01
— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) March 27, 2023
Who Is Humza Yousaf?
Yousaf is a Scottish politician serving as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care since 2021. He is the first non-white cabinet minister in the Scottish Government.
A member of the Scottish National Party (SNP), he has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Pollok since 2016, having previously represented Glasgow region from 2011 to 2016.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Yousaf attended the University of Glasgow, earning an MA in politics.
Before becoming an elected official, he worked as parliamentary assistant for many prominent MSPs, including then First Minister Alex Salmond and then Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Yousaf served in numerous junior ministerial roles including: Minister for External Affairs and International Development from 2012 to 2014, Minister for Europe and International Development from 2014 to 2016, and Minister for Transport and the Islands from 2016 to 2018.
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