Scotland: Prime Minister Humza Yousaf resigns a few days after ending coalition with environmentalists

Scottish pro-independence Prime Minister Humza Yousaf announced his resignation on Monday, April 29, during a press conference in Edinburgh, a few days after ending the coalition between his pro-independence party and the environmentalists. After this divorce, opposition parties tabled two motions of no confidence in Parliament against Mr. Yousaf, and votes were scheduled for this week. The Greens having announced that they would vote against him, the Prime Minister found himself in the minority, and was looking for new partners – without success.

Overcoming current political divisions “can only be done by someone else at the helm,” he said Monday, adding that he would remain in office until his successor is named. Parliament now has twenty-eight days to find a new prime minister.

Mr. Yousaf affirmed that he is “not prepared to renounce his principles for the sole purpose of clinging to power” even if it was, according to him, “absolutely possible” that he would obtain a vote of confidence in entering into an agreement.

Left in turmoil

The decision to end the deal with the Greens came a week after the Scottish government admitted it would be unable to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030, without abandon its promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has dominated the local Parliament in Edinburgh since 2007 but has governed since 2021 thanks to this coalition with the Greens.

Mr Yousaf had been in power since March 2023 when he took over from Nicola Sturgeon, who also resigned, plunging the party into turmoil. The SNP is weighed down by an investigation for embezzlement for which its former director general has been charged.

At the national level, the party, which has 43 MPs in Parliament in London, finds itself threatened by a strong comeback from the Labor Party in Scotland during the legislative elections scheduled for this year.