Daily Record



HUMZA Yousaf has been described as a “weak leader” whose first year was “nothing short of a disaster”, as opposition leaders made a pitch to voters on the anniversar­y of his election as SNP leader. The First Minister narrowly defeated rival Kate Forbes in his run for the top job on March 27 last year, beginning a turbulent 12 months in charge. Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar pointed to the SNP’s electoral troubles during that time, particular­ly the loss of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election to Labour and the defection of two elected members – Ash Regan MSP to the Alba Party and MP Lisa Cameron to the Conservati­ves – as well as MP Angus MacNeil leaving.

Sarwar also attacked the First Minister’s efforts to tackle child poverty and drug deaths.

He said: “After a year in post, it is clear to see Humza Yousaf is a weak leader who is out of his depth and leading a chaotic and divided government that is not delivering for Scotland.

“Every sector of our public services is now weaker thanks to Humza Yousaf’s SNP.

“Not only is it clear to the people of Scotland that Humza Yousaf has no vision for the future – even his own former cabinet colleagues are saying so in public.

“This is a record of shame and failure. With Humza Yousaf scrambling for a new election strategy on a weekly basis, it is no surprise the people of Scotland are now looking for change.

“We need change here and across the UK and only Scottish Labour can deliver it.”

Meanwhile, SNP veteran Alex Neil has urged Yousaf to be “bold” on health and education if he is to be seen as a successful leader by the public.

Neil, a former Scottish Government minister, told the Record: “It’s not been the greatest year in the history of the SNP. But, to be fair, a lot of that was what Humza inherited from Nicola.”

The former health secretary, who retired from Holyrood in 2021, called for Yousaf to announce “radical reform” on education and the health service. He said: “He needs to be bold, he needs to be audacious. He now needs to seize the agenda from what is a very poor opposition.”

Asked what he thought of the SNP’s general election strategy, where a majority of seats will see a demand for negotiatio­ns on independen­ce, Neil added: “If I were him, I would be taking the measures necessary to regain the SNP’s reputation for competence.

“Secondly, he needs to get support for independen­ce up and well over 50 per cent.

“Westminste­r will only respond to majority opinion if we get north of 55 per cent core support for independen­ce and people see it’s a top priority.”

 ?? ?? Rival Kate Forbes
Rival Kate Forbes

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