HUMZA Yousaf has become Scotland's youngest First Minster and first from an ethnic minority background.

At the age of 37, Mr Yousaf has been an MSP since 2011 when he was elected for the Glasgow region. Five years later he was elected as MSP for Glasgow Pollok.

He currently serves as Scotland’s health secretary, taking over from Jeane Freeman who stood down from Holyrood ahead of the 2021 election.

Full unlimited access to The Herald is only £2 for 2 months.

👉 Click here to get this offer 👈

The SNP's national secretary Lorna Finn announced the result this afternoon and that turnout in the party's leadership election was 70%.

For first preferences in the STV system, Mr Yousaf took 24,336 (48%), Kate Forbes took 20,559 (40%) and Ash Regan took 5,599 (11%) of the vote.

When second preferences were distributed in the second stage, Mr Yousaf took 26,032 (52%) and Kate Forbes took 23,890 (48%).

Mr Yousaf said he was "honoured" to be entrusted by the SNP membership after winning the leadership election.

He said: "I feel like the luckiest man in the world to be standing here as leader of the SNP.

"A party I joined almost 20 years and that I love so dearly."

During his speech as well as thanking his wife and parents, who were present in the audience, he paid tribute to his grandparents who settled in Scotland from the Punjab and began their lives in the country speaking little English.

"My final thanks is to my grandparents, who unfortunately are no longer alive to see this day. I am forever thankful that my grandparents made the trip from the Punjab to Scotland over 60 years ago.

"As immigrants to this country, who knew barely a word of English, they could not have imagined their grandson would one day be on the cusp of being the next First Minister of Scotland," he said in one of the most poignant parts of his speech.

"As Muhammad Yousaf worked in the Singer Sewing Machine Factory in Clydebank, and as Rehmat Ali Bhutta stamped tickets on the Glasgow Corporation Buses, they couldn’t have imagined, in their wildest dreams, that two generations later their grandson would one day be Scotland’s First Minister.

"We should all take pride in the fact that today we have sent a clear message, that your colour of skin, your faith, is not a barrier to leading the country we all call home. From the Punjab to our Parliament, this is a journey over generations that reminds us that we should celebrate migrants who contribute so much to our country.

"It is what drives my commitment to equality that will underpin my actions as First Minister."

Born and raised in Glasgow, Mr Yousaf attended the private Hutcheson's Grammar School in Pollokshields and then studied at Glasgow University where he graduated with a degree in politics.

He worked as a parliamentary assistant for many prominent MSPs, including Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon while she was deputy first minister.

READ MORE: Explainer: What happens after the new SNP leader is announced?

Following his election in 2011, he served in a variety of junior ministerial posts including minister for external affairs and development, minister for Europe and international development and minister for transport and the islands.

His first major Cabinet position came during Nicola Sturgeon’s 2018 reshuffle when he was made justice secretary – a position he held until 2021.

Mr Yousaf was the clear favourite of the SNP establishment and during the contest presented himself as the "continuity candidate".

The Herald:

Humza Yousaf's parents (centre) Muzaffar Yousaf (father) and Shaaista Bhutta (mother) at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, for the announcement of the new Scottish National Party leader and the next First Minister of Scotland. Picture date: Monday March 27, 2023.

He was rumoured to be Ms Sturgeon's preference for her successor and his campaign quickly won the backing of the most senior figures in the party.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, constitution secretary Angus Robertson, Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison were all among the leading SNP politicians in Holyrood who supported his leadership bid.

The party's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, his deputy Mhairi Black and his predecessor Ian Blackford also supported Mr Yousaf's campaign.

Other MSPs backing Yousaf include Neil Gray, Michael Matheson, Maree Todd, Shirley-Anne Sommerville and Mairi McAllan.

During the hustings he was the only candidate to give a commitment to pursue a legal challenge to the UK Government on its Section 35 block on gender reforms.

The Herald:

Humza Yousaf with his wife Nadia El-Nakla, daughter Amal and step-daughter (left) at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, after it was announced that he is the new Scottish National Party leader, and will become the next First Minister of Scotland. Picture date: Monday March 27, 2023.

He also promised more action on Scotland's drugs death crisis and said he will hold a series of independence campaign workshops, which would be available to all SNP members.

His tenure as health secretary has proved controversial.

While he has emphasised his negotiations over pay and conditions with NHS workers helped to prevent strikes in the sector, he has faced repeated calls for his sacking from oppositions.

Finance secretary and leadership candidate rival Kate Forbes even suggested during the STV debate that she would not let him continue in the post if she became First Minister.

His previous roles in government also attracted controversy.

One of his flagship policies during his time as justice secretary was the introduction of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

The legislation consolidated existing laws but also established a new offence of “stirring up hatred” on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, age, disability and transgender identity.

The bill was passed in March 2021 despite concerns being raised over its impact on freedom of speech.

Mr Yousaf said the legislation would send a strong message that offences motivated by prejudice “will not be tolerated by society”.

But critics warned it could see individuals facing criminal charges for expressing controversial opinions.