Daily Record

5 key moments that marked Yousaf’s first year in office


1 A long-running police investigat­ion into SNP finances dominated the news agenda for weeks after Humza Yousaf was appointed First Minister. A house belonging to Nicola Sturgeon was searched by detectives as part of Operation Branchform just days after she stood down from the top job.

Sturgeon denies any wrongdoing and the investigat­ion continues.

2 Yousaf sought and won agreement from SNP members for a new independen­ce strategy. It would see the party claim they had a mandate to begin negotiatio­ns to end the Union if they won the majority of seats in Scotland at a general election – a position that has been criticised by some.

3 The SNP leader initially stood by his veteran party colleague Michael Matheson after he was caught up in a major row over his expenses. But the health secretary was finally forced to resign last month after parliament authoritie­s found he had broken the rules, despite him already having agreed to pay the money back out of his own pocket.

4 Yousaf pulled a rabbit from his hat during his first address to SNP conference as First Minister in October last year. He announced a freeze on council tax levels across all 32 local authoritie­s. But town halls reacted with fury after being given no warning at a time they were struggling to make ends meet.

5 The SNP has been hit in the pocket hard after membership numbers plummeted over the last two years. It was followed by a sharp drop in donations which have left party finances looking less than rosy.

Figures published in August showed the Nationalis­ts recorded their largest ever deficit in 2022 despite not having a Holyrood or Westminste­r campaign to pay for.

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