Humza Yousaf is facing a vote of no confidence after the powersharing agreement which gave his party a majority at Holyrood collapsed dramatically.

The Scottish Conservatives confirmed they will lodge a vote of no confidence in Humza Yousaf – with Tory leader Douglas Ross branding him “weak” and a “failed First Minister”.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said his party would back a no confidence motion in Mr Yousaf.

Mr Ross announced the motion after an emergency meeting of the Scottish Cabinet on Thursday morning, where Mr Yousaf terminated the powersharing deal his party had with the Scottish Greens with “immediate effect”.

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The Bute House Agreement had given the SNP a majority at Holyrood, and in the wake of its collapse the Tories sought to heap further pressure on the First Minister.

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Mr Ross told MSPs: “I can confirm today that on behalf of the Scottish Conservatives I am lodging a vote of no confidence in Humza Yousaf.

“He is a failed First Minister. He is focused on the wrong priorities for Scotland.

“He has governed in the SNP’s interests and not in Scotland’s interests. He is unfit for office.”

He added that with the Bute House Agreement scrapped: “Shouldn’t this be the end of the road for this weak First Minister?”

If a vote of no confidence is passed, it would mean a majority of MSPs no longer have confidence in the leadership of the First Minister – and would put Mr Yousaf under huge pressure.

The vote, however, would not automatically end Mr Yousaf’s time in office.

The SNP leader accused the Tories of game playing, insisting the powersharing deal with the Greens had “served its purpose” and had lasted 19 times longer than Liz Truss’s premiership.

Mr Yousaf went on to warn Mr Ross the Tories would be “judged very poorly” for playing “political games”.

The First Minister told MSPs: “I’ll leave it to Douglas Ross to play the political games that he wants to play.

“If he wants to put our record and his party’s record on the line, let’s do that.

“There’s a general election coming this year and I can guarantee you the electorate will give the Conservative Party an almighty thumping, show them the door, and they deserve nothing less.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar challenged the First Minister to “end the circus and call an election” in Scotland.

He said: “The people of Scotland can see that the SNP have lost their way. They’re weak, divided, incompetent and putting party before country.”

Sources close to Mr Sarwar said later that Labour would be backing the no confidence motion.

Less than two hours earlier, the First Minister had insisted ending the Bute House Agreement – which brought the Greens into government for the first time anywhere in the UK – was a “new beginning” for the SNP at Holyrood.

However the Greens accused him of “political cowardice”, with the move meaning co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater lose their ministerial positions in the Scottish Government.

Following First Minister’s Questions, the co-leaders said their MSPs will now consider how they will vote on any no confidence motion.

Mr Harvie said: “The First Minister has, I think tragically, caved to the right wing of his party.

“I think that’s bad for Scotland, it’s bad for the Government, it’s bad for him.

“The First Minister needs to command a majority in the Scottish Parliament. The Bute House Agreement was a way of of achieving that.”

Mr Sarwar also made clear Labour does not have confidence in the First Minister.

The SNP will now operate as a minority administration at Holyrood – with Mr Yousaf himself accepting this could be “tough”.

Speaking at FMQs, Mr Harvie asked Mr Yousaf “who he has pleased most” with the decision – suggesting that might be Mr Ross, SNP rebel Fergus Ewing, or former first minister and Alba Party leader Alex Salmond.

All three have been frequent critics of the Bute House Agreement, with Mr Harvie – in a terse question in Holyrood – further asking which of them the First Minister can now rely on for a majority in Parliament.

The First Minister thanked the Green co-leaders for their work in Government, but said it is “time for the SNP to govern as a minority Government”.

The end of the Bute House Agreement came amid growing tensions between the two pro-independence parties – with the Greens left furious after the Scottish Government last week abandoned a key climate change target.

The Greens were also unhappy at the Scottish Government’s response to the Cass Review into gender identity services for children and young people.

The Greens had been planning to ballot their members on the future of the agreement, but before that could happen Mr Yousaf called time on the deal, saying it had “served its purpose”.

During a press conference at Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh, the First Minister said: “I believe that going forward it is in the best interest of the people of Scotland to pursue a different arrangement.

“That is why, following a discussion with my Cabinet this morning, I have formally notified Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater that I am terminating the Bute House Agreement with immediate effect.”

But Ms Slater said of the move: “This is an act of political cowardice by the SNP, who are selling out future generations to appease the most reactionary forces in the country.

“By ending the agreement in such a weak and thoroughly hopeless way, Humza Yousaf has signalled that when it comes to political co-operation, he can no longer be trusted.”

She accused the SNP of having “broken the bonds of trust with members of both parties” and said it had “betrayed the electorate”.

Any MSP may give notice of a motion that the Scottish Government or a member of the Scottish Government or a junior Scottish Minister no longer enjoys the confidence of the Parliament (“a motion of no confidence”).

If notice of a motion of no confidence is supported by at least 25 members, it shall be included in a proposed business programme.

Members shall normally be given at least two sitting days’ notice of a motion of no confidence.

Exceptionally, members may be given a shorter period of notice if in the opinion of the Parliamentary Bureau a shorter period is appropriate.

A vote of no confidence in a Minister, the First Minister or even the Government as a whole requires only a simple majority in the Parliament for it to be agreed.
None of these require a two-thirds majority. 
A simple majority in relation to votes of no confidence in ministers or in the Government requires only the number of members voting 'for' to be greater than those 'against' - no account is taken of any members who abstain.
If there is a vote of no-confidence in the First Minister it would be up to Mr Yousaf how he responded once the will of the Parliament had been made clear. 


If there is a vote of no-confidence in the Government - both the FM and Ministers are required to resign. In that case the Parliament is not automatically dissolved, instead the Parliament has 28 days to choose a new FM (by simple majority) (Section 46 of the Scotland Act). If it cannot do so, Parliament is dissolved.