Christine Grahame reacts to the First Minister’s resignation

Monday April 29th 2024

Humza Yousaf First Minister

Humza Yousaf has resigned as First Minister.

This View has been written by Christine Grahame MSP.

As I write Humza Yousaf has bowed to the inevitable and resigned as First Minister and Leader of the SNP though he will continue until his successor is elected.

His resignation speech was heartfelt and eloquent but he has done the right thing. To have possibly struggled through by doing a deal with Alba would have been a pyrrhic victory with a tied vote which would have left him fatally damaged. By going now and speaking as he did humiliation is avoided.

I have long felt the priorities fashioned by the Bute House Agreement with the Greens where much legislation was gender focussed did not reflect the priorities of the Scottish people. That is not to say these are not serious issues but there are others which should have come first.

Top of my list would be housing for rent by councils. There are ways of funding this and “Shared Equity” options would be part of that. This is when you part rent part buy the property which gives flexibility to increase or decrease the percentage of the property rented. Life is full of ups and downs and with this system there is security especially if for one reason or another your income falls.

Next on my list would be improving access to GPs and increasing the use of pharmacies which are part of “Pharmacy First” which means you should go there first if it a minor ailment. We all know the sooner you are seen and dealt with the less likely you are for your health and well being to worsen.

I hope too we will look to improve the state of Scotland’s roads and have long argued that vehicle Excise Duty (formerly Road tax) should be ring-fenced for road improvement, with Scotland receiving its share of the UK £7.4 billion which for example was collected year 2022/23. I hope in due course as a new FM and government is formed that your priorities (and mine) become the focus.

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