Politics latest: Defiant Humza Yousaf accuses opponents of 'playing games' as he vows to fight on (2024)

Key points
  • 'I intend absolutely to fight vote of no confidence,' Yousaf tells Sky News
  • Connor Gillies:First minister must reset relations with the very people he has burned bridges with
  • Yousaf's political future in numbers - and how it may all come down to just one
  • 'When they start caring about us, maybe we'll care back': Politics Hub special explores breakdown in trust between voters and politicians
  • Serena Barker-Singh:Stark and bleak view from Target Towns voters
  • LatestElectoral Dysfunction podcast explores what the local elections will bring
  • Live reporting by Charlotte Chelsom-Pill


Yousaf tells Sky News he has 'every intention' of winning vote of no confidence

Scotland's first minister tells Sky News he has "every intention" of winning the vote of confidence against him.

Speaking live to Sky's Scotland correspondent Connor Gillies, Humza Yousaf accused the opposition parties of "playing games".

"I intend to fight that vote of no confidence. I've got every intention of winning that vote of no confidence," he said.

Mr Yousaf said he understand the "upset and anger" felt by the Scottish Greens after he scrapped their power-sharing agreement yesterday.

But he said the opposition must act in "good faith" in order to make a minority government work "in the interests of the people of Scotland".

He said he will be writing to all political party leaders and party groups represented in the Scottish parliament, including the leaders of the Greens, to ask them to meet with him.

Asked how he can be confident he will win the no-confidence vote, he says: "I believe in our ability to be able to work with, negotiate, compromise where necessary. We've shown that in the past."

"I'll be looking to do that over the next coming days with the opposition leaders.

"And with that, I'm quite confident, very confident, in fact, that we'll be able to win that vote of confidence."

Mr Yousaf confirms he has no intention of resigning.


In pictures: Lord Cameron celebrates UK-Mongolian partnership on final day of central Asia tour

Lord David Cameron has heralded the UK-Mongolia partnership today, saying it is "stronger than ever," as he completes his five-day tour of central Asia.

The foreign secretary's visit to Mongolia saw him meet president Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh.

And he can be seen posing for photos with one of the prime minister of Mongolia's horses.

Lord Cameron also took part in an English lesson at a school in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

His tour of Central Asia has already taken him to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.


Analysis: Yousaf must reset relations with the very people he has burned bridges with

By Connor Gillies, Scotland correspondent

Kitted out in his hard hat and high-vis jacket, an embattled Humza Yousaf toured a new social housing development in Dundee today as he dodges incoming political fire.

It was difficult to miss the metaphor of him stepping out on to the balcony of one home. A leader whose career appears to be teetering on the edge.

I spoke to the first minister live on Sky News and his message could not have been clearer. He is clambering to cling on. Defiant that he will win a looming no-confidence vote.

He denies suggestions he even considered quitting in the past 24 hours.

Some sources within the SNP, though, told a different tale.

They contradict their leader with a suggestion he had serious conversations with his inner circle about the path ahead.

The sacked Green ministers may get the ultimate political "revenge" when they cast their vote next week.

One Green source told me the only move they would support Mr Yousaf doing is resigning. "He needs to go now", they said.

The question is how long can the SNP chief ride the storm? His fate now lies in the hands of one-time leadership rival Ash Regan.

He said she was "no great loss" when she defected to Alex Salmond's Alba party last year.

Mr Yousaf must now reset relations with the very people he has burned bridges with since taking over as Scotland's leader in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon's shock resignation.


Regan tells Yousaf she wants a 'reset', but remains 'open to any discussion'

The Scottish MSP who may well have the deciding vote in a motion of no confidence in the first minister says she has written to him requesting a "reset".

But she says she remains "open to any discussion".

Ash Regan, once a rival to Humza Yousaf for SNP leader, defected to Alex Salmond's Alba Party last year.

With the SNP now a minority administration and the rest of the opposition confirming they are plotting to oust the beleaguered first minister, Sky'sScotland correspondent Connor Gillies saysMs Regan finds herself as possibly the most powerful woman in Scotland.

In a post on X, Ms Regan said: "I have written to Humza Yousaf this morning requesting a reset, and a return to competent government, where we prioritise independence and protect the dignity, safety and rights of women and children.

"I remain open to any discussion where we progress the priorities of the people of Scotland."

You can read more from Connor's analysis on Ash Regan here:


Yousaf's political future in numbers - and how it may all come down to just one

Humza Yousaf's future as first minister is hanging in the balance ahead of a motion of no confidence next week.

Now, as leader of a minority government, his fate may be hanging on just one vote - that of a former SNP leadership rival.

We take a look at how:

The numbers

In the Scottish parliament, the SNP has 63 seats out of 129, two short of an outright majority;

The Conservatives have31;

Labour has 22;

The Greens haveseven;

The Liberal Democrats have four;

The Alba Party has one;

There is also one presiding officer Alison Johnstone, who is both an MSP and Scotland's equivalent of the Commons speaker.

How the numbers are expected to fall

The motion of no confidence was brought by the Scottish Conservatives.

The Greens, Labour and the Lib Dems have all said they are backing the motion.

That would translate into 64 votes against the first minister versus 63 SNP votes.

So the one Alba vote is expected to be key.

How it may all come down to one ... Ash Regan

Once an SNP leadership rival to Mr Yousaf, Ash Regan defected to Alex Salmond's Alba Party last October.

If she backs Mr Yousaf then that would mean both sides have 64 votes.

Ms Johnstone would then be expected to vote in favour of the status quo, so the first minister would survive.

But if Ms Regan votes against Mr Yousaf, then the opposition parties will have 65 votes against the SNP's 63, and the first minister would lose.

He wouldn't be compelled to resign in this situation, but he'd be under huge pressure to step aside.

More to come

And remember, Scottish Labour have lodged a separate motion of no confidence in the Scottish government.

Alba have said it won't back that motion.


'It's a total mess': Davey backs Labour call for an election in Scotland

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has backed Labour calls for an election in Scotland, describing the situation facing the SNP and first minister as a "total mess".

Scottish Labour have lodged a motion of no confidence in the government, saying "we need an election right now".

Humza Yousef is also facing a no-confidence vote on his leadership next week.

Put forward by the Conservatives, it has the backing of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens.

"It's a total mess with the SNP and Humza Yousaf," Sir Ed said during a visit to the River Goyt in Stockport.

"I personally think this SNP government has really failed Scotland."

He said the SNP has let Scotland down on key services such as health and education because the party has been "so focused on their ideological obsession of independence".

"On these basic things that matter to people, the SNP have been failing them and so Liberal Democrats have been saying in Scotland, look, we need to focus on the NHS, we need to focus on our schools, the cost of living, the environment."

"Because the SNP haven't done, I actually think it's time for a general election in Scotland."


Electoral Dysfunction: A reset week for Rishi but what will the local elections bring?

Following the prime minister's trip to Europe this week, Beth Rigby, Jess Phillips and Ruth Davidson examine whether Rishi Sunak is convincing on the world stage and ask if his announcement on defence spending will help the Conservatives' chances in next week's local elections.

And after the Rwanda bill was passed this week - is this another win for the prime minister or a policy that he should have dumped months ago?

Plus, what's the future for Scottish First Minister Hamza Yusuf following the breakdown of the coalition between the SNP and the Greens. Ruth Davidson who was the leader of the Scottish Conservatives gives her verdict.

And how do MPs get deselected if they behave badly and can you become an MP if you have a past? The team answer more of your questions.

Listen here to the latest episode of Sky's Electoral Dysfunction podcast:

👉Tap here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts👈

Email Beth, Jess, and Ruth atelectoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.


What are Sunak and Starmer hoping for at the locals, and what might it mean for a general election?

With a general election looming, what counts as gains and losses for the main parties in next week's locals?

Sky's election analyst Michael Thrasher tells us what to look out for:


Cameron 'deeply concerned' after man charged with conducting hostile activity in UK to benefit Russia

Lord David Cameron has said he is "deeply concerned" as a British man is charged with conducting hostile state activity to benefit Russia.

"While we must let the judicial process run its course, I am deeply concerned by allegations of British nationals carrying out criminal activity on UK soil to benefit the Russian state," the foreign secretary said.

"We will use the full weight of the criminal justice system to hold anyone found guilty of crimes linked to foreign interference to account."

Dylan Earl, 20, is alleged to have engaged in conduct targeting businesses which were linked to Ukraine in order to benefit the Russian state.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's special crime and counter terrorism division, said: "Included in the alleged activity was involvement in the planning of an arson attack on a Ukrainian-linked commercial property in March 2024."

Four others have also been charged in connection with the investigation, the CPS said, after reporting restrictions were lifted on Friday.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "Hostile foreign acts will never be tolerated on UK soil.

"Our National Security Act has allowed charges to be brought against an individual alleged to be carrying out harmful activity for the benefit of the Russian state.

"If you threaten UK security, you will face justice."

Read more here:


What elections are taking place on 2 May and who can I vote for?

By Daniel Dunford, senior data journalist

There might not be a general election just yet, but there are important votes that will define how the areas around us are run for the next four years.

See what's happening where you are here:

Politics latest: Defiant Humza Yousaf accuses opponents of 'playing games' as he vows to fight on (2024)


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