Humza Yousaf was elected Monday by members of the Scottish Independence Party (SNP) to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as head of local government and thus resume the fight for self-determination.
Here are 19 things to know about this new heavyweight on the British political scene:
He is 37 years old; He was born in Glasgow; He is of the Muslim faith; His paternal grandparents came from Pakistan 60 years ago; He was educated in a private school; He then studied political science at the university in his hometown; He worked in a call center; He later served as assistant to Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon’s predecessor as leader of the SNP; He was Minister of Health until today; He is to be elected prime minister by the local parliament on Tuesday; He becomes the first Muslim to lead a major political party in the UK; He is considered the continuity candidate;
Photo ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP
Humza Yousaf addressed the crowd after his victory on Monday.
He is an assumed Republican; He was elected in 2011 to the Scottish Parliament; He was sworn in Urdu and English upon entering the Parliament of Scotland; He was the first Muslim to hold a ministerial post in a Scottish government, in 2012; He becomes the youngest leader to head the SNP; He is known to have talents as a communicator, likely to unite the party; He recounted having suffered racist attacks and comments in the past, particularly after the September 11, 2001 attacks;
He takes over from the emblematic leader Nicola Sturgeon at a time when the country is experiencing crises in its health system – of which he was responsible as minister – and in education.
His record in government was harshly criticized during the campaign.
But far from wanting to cut ties with his predecessor, he indicated that he would remain in close contact with her to seek her advice, while promising a more collegial governance and “less reduced to a restricted circle”.