Humza Yousaf is the head of the Scottish National Party, also known as SNP. He is also the new First Minister of Scotland.
Yousaf is the son of Pakistani immigrants. He is the first ever Muslim and person of Asian descent to take up the top executive role in the Scottish government and at 38, is the youngest leader in that capacity.
Yousaf’s journey to politics
Humza Yousaf was born in Glasgow in 1985. He is the grandson of immigrants who travelled from Punjab to Scotland in the 1960s. While his father’s family is originally from Pakistan, his mother’s family were based in Kenya.
Yousaf was educated at Hutchesons’ Grammar School and later went on to study at the University of Glasgow. It was during his university years that he joined the SNP, and also became the president of the Muslim Students Association.
Yousaf kicked off his political journey as an office manager for the SNP’s Bashir Ahmad, the first Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) of Muslim-Asian heritage. After Ahmad passed away in 2009, Yousaf went on to work for other members of parliament, including Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, both First Ministers of Scotland.
In 2011, he was elected as an MSP from the Glasgow region. He made waves for taking his oath to the Queen in English and Urdu.
During Yousaf’s career with the SNP government, he served multiple capacities, as Transport Minister, Justice Secretary and Health Secretary. As Yousaf takes on the top job, one big challenge ahead of him is being able to unite the SNP. Yousaf has pitched himself as the “continuity candidate” who will step in to take on his predecessor - Nicola Sturgeon.
He is set to take her agenda forward on the Scottish independence campaign.
Reporting: Narayan Lakshman
Voiceover & Production: Abhinaya Sriram