THERE are multiple reasons why Humza Yousaf had to resign, particularly a startling lack of political nous. But the key single reason dates back to Nicola Sturgeon, supported by the other-worldly Greens, setting ludicrously unrealistic climate change targets (75% reduction in emissions by 2030, net zero by 2045), just so they could be seen to be more challenging, more virtue-signalling than those set by Westminster.

Under the nationalists, targets haven't been met in eight of the last 12 years. Ms Sturgeon, who long-term perhaps had her eye set on a UN environmental role, was determined to appear righteous and ethical yet was setting up her successors to fail. So Mr Yousaf was forced to face reality, and reset climate targets, and the rest is history. Ms Sturgeon's vanity and the SNP's obsession with playing puerile political games lie at the heart of Mr Yousaf's downfall.

Martin Redfern, Melrose.

The toxic legacy

NOSTRADAMUS need not worry about the powers of foresight displayed by GR Weir (Letters, April 26) after he prophesied Humza Yousaf’s heroic confidence vote victory. Thankfully, his prediction proved somewhat wide of the mark.

Unfortunately we are saddled with Mr Yousaf until the next SNP Sturgeon acolyte takes on the mantle and leads us ever further down the road of hopeless government. He lived up to his "useless" moniker with remarkable aplomb; his strategic political manoeuverings were not something Machiavelli would be proud of. This aside, he was given an almighty hospital pass by Nicola Sturgeon.

Her toxic legacy grows by the day. She casts a large shadow that only an early Holyrood election will rid us of. Until this happens we are tied into a ridiculous state of affairs where the Greens, even after being kicked out of government, lurk on the sidelines effectively able to chose the SNP leader and dictate policy.

We are witnessing the end of days of SNP rule, unfortunately 10 years too late.

John McSweeney, Edinburgh.

Undone by all the posturing

FOLLOWING a badly-handled attempt to extract his government from being progressively dragged down by the Scottish Greens, the First Minister has been forced to resign.

A year ago, when Humza Yousaf stepped up to the top job, there was a suspicion that he was primarily there because he was prepared to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps. The worry was he had been promoted well beyond his capabilities. There was also a concern that after so many other ministers had for various reasons stepped away from their frontline roles, that the SNP was left with its B-team in government.

The experience of the past year suggests those fears were justified.

Humza Yousaf undoubtedly inherited a serious array of challenges. Yet whereas both his predecessors had an uncanny way of turning difficulties to their advantage, or at least finding someone else to blame, he made a habit of making a bad situation worse. While some might have hoped that Mr Yousaf and his leadership team would raise their game to meet the challenges facing them, they have instead demonstrated a woeful lack of focus on Scotland’s real priorities.

The SNP now seeks to assess its options from amongst a narrowing field of B-team hopefuls. Meanwhile, Scotland wonders if whoever it eventually chooses will be any less divisive or any more able to bring stability to Scotland’s government. Three SNP first ministers in a row have now had to step down as their “we know best” attitude has come up against the real-world consequences of preferring political posturing to properly delivering for all of Scotland.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

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A decent, kind and caring man

SO the snarling dogs of Better Together have combined and a good man has resigned. Humza Yousaf has stood as solid as a rock throughout a very difficult year for the SNP and has faced extremely challenging political and personal issues calmly and with dignity, staying loyal to his friends, his principles, his party and his country. Yes, he should have terminated the Bute House Agreement differently, but Mr Yousaf has shown himself as First Minister to be a decent, kind and caring man, who wasn't prepared to sink his principles and values in order to keep himself in power.

I am very sorry to see him go.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

A worthy record

HUMZA Yousaf has served in government over a long number of years, in a number of ministerial positions. We should examine the record of the Scottish Government over those years.

In the cost of living crisis it has been the SNP under the leadership of Humza Yousaf that reached out with mitigating measurers regarding the morally repugnant bedroom tax and the cap on social security benefits. Under the SNP and Mr Yousaf 100,000 children have been taken out of poverty with the Scottish Child Payment and the SNP in Government has introduced the twice-yearly Carers Supplement available nowhere else in the UK. We may also want to recognise that there have been no strikes in the NHS here in Scotland.

And as we reflect on Mr Yousaf’s time as First Minister, we should recall his humanitarian stand for the world, his call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, something the Conservative Government and Sir Keir Starmer's Labour opposed.

Mr Yousaf's time as First Minister and SNP party leader may be all but over, but for Scotland, the road to independence lives on.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

What a way to run a country

HAVING read most of the newspaper coverage and listened to and watched the pundits on radio and TV covering the shenanigans that are currently taking place in the political palace of Holyrood, I am reminded of the line "What a way to run a railway", but in this instance a country called Scotland The population of this wonderful country deserves better, whether it is to do with health, ferries, football and especially politics.

It is about time that those who have been elected cease to spend time on their own glorification, and place as a priority the basic needs and desires of said populace.

Mike Dooley, Ayr.

A lack of work experience

HUMZA Yousaf demonstrates that work experience before political representation should be mandatory. He and many others like him who make laws which govern our lives have no life mandate to do so.

Leaving education and immediately following politics as a career is wrong. Politicians should be of a maturity because of having carved out a career which clearly attests to a grasp of how life can unfold through decision-making gained in the university of life. Wisdom is acquired by experience not through a university degree.

Stan Hogarth, Strathaven.


The Herald: Humza Yousaf leaving Bute House yesterdayHumza Yousaf leaving Bute House yesterday (Image: PA)Democracy denied

THE UK Internal Market Act, introduced by an authoritarian Tory Government at Westminster without any mandate from the people of Scotland, was designed to effectively neuter the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The resignation of Humza Yousaf as First Minister and the possibility of an early change of government bears witness to the success of this devious strategy. Should that new government be an anti-independence government then the Tories will also have succeeded in returning control of Scotland to a London-based UK party, regardless of whether Douglas Ross or Anas Sarwar were to become First Minister. This will have been achieved in spite of a vote of almost 75% in favour of devolution, the election of a majority of pro-independence parties at Holyrood (and an overwhelming endorsement of the SNP on a first past the post basis) and around 50%, or more, in favour of self-determination.

Furthermore, with the introduction of Brexit (and a Hard Brexit at that) which was rejected by the Scottish electorate, what will it take to convince the rest of the people of Scotland that “democracy”, as dictated by a London-centric UK Government, is failing Scotland and that this dire predicament will only significantly change if Scots finally take control of their own destiny?

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.


ALEX Salmond was up to his old tricks on TV at the weekend; that is, use of spin and exaggeration. He referred to Ash Regan as leader of the Alba group at Holyrood: Ash Regan is the Alba group at Holyrood, and is only there because she defected from the SNP.

William Ballantine, Bo'ness.