Humza Yousaf, a progressive separatist, future Scottish Prime Minister

For the first time in its history, Scotland should be led by a person of Indo-Pakistani origin and of Muslim faith. Humza Yousaf, 37, was elected leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) on Monday March 27 by the members of this independence party. On Tuesday, he should be appointed Scottish Prime Minister without incident by the regional Parliament of Edinburgh, where the SNP is by far the largest political party.

This appointment constitutes further proof of the integration of the Indo-Pakistani community in the United Kingdom: the conservative British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is of Indian origin and of the Hindu faith. Anas Sarwar, from a Pakistani family, leads the Scottish branch of the Labor Party. This designation “highlights how ethnic and religious diversity has become the norm at the head of Scottish and British political parties, in a way unmatched anywhere else in Europe”, said Sunder Katwala, the director of the British Future think tank, which promotes equality between the country’s different ethnic communities.

“My grandparents would never have imagined this fate, one of my grandfathers worked at the Glasgow bus company, the other at the Singer factory [de Clydebank, à l’ouest de Glasgow] » reacted, moved, Mr. Yousaf, short beard and tartan tie. Affirming that “faith does not prevent you from running a country”registering its future action under the sign of ” Justice “the former health minister of Nicola Sturgeon has promised to govern “for all Scots” and listed among its priorities the “ protect against the cost of living crisis”. Independence, however, remains its primary objective, because, he thinks, “the Scots want it now”.

Difficult to succeed Nicola Sturgeon

Raised in Glasgow, Scotland’s economic capital and bastion of the independence movement, Humza Yousaf joined the SNP in 2005; he is still a student at the University of Glasgow and heard Alex Salmond, leader of the party at the time, denounce the entry into the war of the United Kingdom against Iraq. Elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 (where he took the oath in English and Urdu), he became a minister the following year in the government of Mr. Salmond. He will chain portfolios, moving from justice to transport and finally to health during the Covid pandemic. Without demerit but without making sparks either.

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“I’m proud of him and also a little nervous,” slipped Shaaista Bhutta, the mother of the new leader at the microphone of Sky News, just after his appointment. There is reason: it will not be easy to replace Nicola Sturgeon, the outgoing Scottish Prime Minister, considered a “giant” of Scottish and British politics in the opinion of even her opponents. At 52, the boss of the SNP since the end of 2014, suddenly announced her resignation in mid-February, without giving any other explanation than “the desire to move on”, after having lived ” almost all [sa] adult life in politics. »

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