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Scottish Labour leader to lay motion of no confidence in government as Humza Yousaf cancels independence speech

26 April 2024, 10:35 | Updated: 26 April 2024, 10:49

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will lay a motion of no confidence in the Scottish government this afternoon.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will lay a motion of no confidence in the Scottish government this afternoon. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is set to lay a motion of no confidence in the Scottish government on Friday afternoon.

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Mr Sarwar told LBC that it would be "completely untenable" if the SNP chose another unelected First Minister instead of allowing the people of Scotland to vote.

It comes after the SNP's power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens collapsed on Thursday, with Humza Yousaf saying the agreement had “served its purpose" and was "no longer guaranteeing a stable arrangement in parliament".

In response to the "sudden ending", the Greens said they would support a vote of no confidence in Mr Yousaf.

The First Minister called an emergency cabinet meeting on Thursday and cancelled a planned speech for Friday as he continued to fight for his political future.

He was due to speak about the labour strategy in an independent Scotland, take part in a Q&A session and take questions from the press.

Read more: Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf faces vote of no confidence after power-sharing deal collapses

LBC Views: Humza Yousaf has taken a big gamble in sacking the Scottish Greens

Anas Sarwar launches blistering attack on Humza Yousaf

Speaking to LBC, Scottish Labour's Mr Sarwar said: "I think it's now a matter of when not if Hamza Yousaf resigns as First Minister.

"But I think it'll be completely untenable for the SNP to presume they can impose another unelected First Minister in Scotland.

"And that’s why Scottish Labouur has said already we don’t have confidence in Humza Yousaf.

"But today we will also be laying a motion before Parliament saying that the Scottish Parliament does not have confidence in this Scottish Government because, ultimately, I think it’s the people of Scotland that should decide who leads this country not just a small group of SNP members."

The Alba Party MSP, whose vote could be crucial to Mr Yousaf's future, has written to the First Minister and set out demands in exchange for her support in a vote of no confidence in him.

Ash Regan, a former SNP minister who defected to Alex Salmond's party, said she wants to see progress on Scottish independence and defending "the rights of women and children".

A tight vote is expected at Holyrood next week, and since the SNP have 63 out of the 128 MSPs, Ms Regan's vote would appear to be crucial in getting Mr Yousaf over the line.

On Thursday night, a source close to Mr Yousaf said he was "absolutely not" considering his position following the chaotic events earlier in the day.

His decision to end the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens was branded an act of "political cowardice" by the smaller pro-independence party.

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