Politics latest: Scotland's first minister battling to save job – and why have politicians lost people's trust? – Sky News

Tee Rasheed
13 Min Read

Scotland’s first minister says he will fight a vote in his leadership and is “very confident” of winning. Listen to this week’s episode of the Electoral Dysfunction podcast while you scroll through the latest updates.
Friday 26 April 2024 18:00, UK
Rishi Sunak sits down this Sunday with Trevor Phillips for a wide-ranging interview ahead of the local elections.
With the Rwanda bill becoming law this week and the PM announcing a commitment to increase defence spending, there’s been plenty to talk about.
You can watch it in full from 8.30am on Sunday.
Trevor will also be joined by Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.
Embattled Humza Yousaf has told Sky News he will not resign as Scotland’s first minister.
Pressure has been building on the SNP leader after he tore up the power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens – prompting a no-confidence motion in his leadership and a threatened knife-edge vote.
However, Mr Yousaf, on a visit to Dundee that was arranged at short notice after he pulled out of a speech in Glasgow, insisted he was getting on with the job and accused the opposition of “playing games”.
He said he would be writing to the leaders of all Scottish political parties to seek talks on making a minority government work.

He told Sky’s Scotland correspondent Connor Gillies: “I intend absolutely to fight that vote of no confidence, I’ve got every intention of winning that vote of no confidence.
“And let me say to the opposition for minority government to work in the interest of the people of Scotland also requires the opposition to act in good faith.”
Humza Yousaf’s future as first minister is hanging in the balance ahead of a motion of no confidence next week.
Now, as leader of a minority government, his fate may be hanging on just one vote – that of a former SNP leadership rival. 
We take a look at how:
The numbers
In the Scottish parliament, the SNP has 63 seats out of 129, two short of an outright majority;

The Conservatives have 31;

Labour has 22;
The Greens have seven;
The Liberal Democrats have four;
The Alba Party has one;
There is also one presiding officer Alison Johnstone, who is both an MSP and Scotland’s equivalent of the Commons speaker.

How the numbers are expected to fall
The motion of no confidence was brought by the Scottish Conservatives.
The Greens, Labour and the Lib Dems have all said they are backing the motion.
That would translate into 64 votes against the first minister versus 63 SNP votes.
So the one Alba vote is expected to be key.
How it may all come down to one … Ash Regan

Once an SNP leadership rival to Mr Yousaf, Ash Regan defected to Alex Salmond’s Alba Party last October. 
If she backs Mr Yousaf then that would mean both sides have 64 votes.
Ms Johnstone would then be expected to vote in favour of the status quo, so the first minister would survive.

But if Ms Regan votes against Mr Yousaf, then the opposition parties will have 65 votes against the SNP’s 63, and the first minister would lose.
He wouldn’t be compelled to resign in this situation, but he’d be under huge pressure to step aside.
More to come
And remember, Scottish Labour have lodged a separate motion of no confidence in the Scottish government. 
Alba have said it won’t back that motion.
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf is battling to save his job as he faces a knife-edge no-confidence vote.
The SNP leader triggered a crisis at Holyrood after he dramatically brought the power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens to an end.
The backlash has plunged Mr Yousaf’s future into doubt, although party colleagues insist he will not resign.
How did we get here?
The Bute House Agreement – signed back in 2021 and named after the first minister’s official residence in Edinburgh – brought the Green Party into government for the first time anywhere in the UK.
It gave the SNP a majority at Holyrood when the votes of its MSPs were combined with those of the seven Green members, and also made Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater junior ministers.
Without it, the SNP would need to have operated as a minority administration at Holyrood.
What caused the relationship to sour?
There had been mounting tensions between the largest party at Holyrood and their junior partners in government.
The Greens were angered at the SNP-led administration’s recent decision to ditch a key climate change target.
That, combined with the decision to pause the prescription of new puberty blockers to under-18s at at Scotland’s only gender clinic, resulted in the Greens announcing they would have a vote on the future of the power-sharing deal. 
Read more here:
The 2 May local elections will see more than 2,600 seats at stake across 107 English councils.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham are among the 10 mayors up for re-election.  
Those in Blackpool South will also be voting for their next MP after ex-Tory Scott Benton broke Commons lobbying rules, triggering a by-election.  
With the Conservatives lagging behind Labour in the polls, the outcome will offer some insight on how voters in England and Wales feel ahead of the general election.
On the Sky News Daily, Niall Paterson is joined by deputy political editor Sam Coates to discuss why the elections are so important for the prime minister’s future and where the key political backgrounds are.
By Daniel Dunford, senior data journalist
There might not be a general election just yet, but there are important votes that will define how the areas around us are run for the next four years. 
See what’s happening where you are here:
With the local elections less than a week away, deputy political editor Sam Coates explains why they matter and what they might tell us about the upcoming general election.
Ash Regan – the MSP who could decide the future of Humza Yousaf – has appeared to name her price for her support in next week’s no-confidence vote.
She has said, in a letter to Alba Party members, that investment in the Grangemouth refinery will be a key condition of her backing the first minister.
The refinery is currently due to shut as early as next year and move to being an import and export terminal.
Alba has launched a a campaign to sustain jobs at the refinery.

“A sign of good faith would be a significant government investment, reinforcing the campaign to save the Grangemouth refinery from closure,” she says in her letter.
“I am requesting the undertaking to produce such an initiative in the early course.
“I am hopeful that the first minister will commit to such an initiative in the near future as a sign of our shared dedication to Scotland’s welfare.”
Ms Regan was once part of the SNP and ran in the contest to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as leader last year, the contest Mr Yousaf won.
She defected to Alex Salmond’s Alba Party in October. 
The battle for a town that no one there wants.
Sky News is reporting from Grimsby in the run-up to the general election as one of its Target Towns – a key constituency prized by both Conservatives and Labour – Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
But it turns out that Grimsby doesn’t really want them.
It hasn’t always been a town doused in apathy. 
In 2016, 70% of people here voted to leave the EU – one of the highest results in the country – and in the 2019 election, the constituency turned Tory for the first time since the Second World War.
But five years on, polling by Sky News found that since then, the number of people saying they “almost never” trust the British government to place the needs of the nation above the interests of their own party has nearly doubled – from 26% to 49%.
It’s a stark but bleak view. Voters described both leaders as uninspiring and uninteresting.
When asked what they make of the current prime minister, words like “weak” and “performative” were used. 
Voters couldn’t make their minds up about the Labour leader, saying they were unsure about him or his policies.
The lack of a clear dividing line between the two parties could be a problem in the general election, especially as both parties have been trying to show a bit more leg this week ahead of a fully-fledged election campaign.
Labour has shown a hint of more radical policies, with their announcement on aiming to nationalise railways within five years. 
But have they waited a bit too long to impress the people of Grimsby?
The Conservatives ratified their Rwanda policy into law, but voters here weren’t hugely enthused by that either, with one member of the audience tonight proclaiming they care much more about housing and the environment. 
They asked – why is the centre of political debate about Rwanda and a policy we don’t really care about?
Apathy might override this election.
By Jennifer Scott, political reporter
Voters in Grimsby – one of Sky News’s election Target Towns – have been offering their views on politics, politicians and “broken promises”.
The electoral battle in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, the Target Towns, will be fierce. Labour will need an 11.7 point swing to win this newly-merged constituency back from the Conservatives.
In 2019, residents in Grimsby voted Tory for the first time since the end of the Second World War. The old Cleethorpes constituency was always more of a bellwether, having voted Conservative since 2010.
However, it has shed some of its rural, Conservative-voting residents in the merger.
Speaking on the Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge, small business owner Shannon said she might not vote in the next general election later this year as she “just can’t trust anything anybody says”.
She said she has felt this way since Brexit – something Grimsby was overwhelmingly in support of – because “we were promised ‘x’ and ‘y’ and it hasn’t happened, so I’m just totally disengaged from it”.
Asked whether local MPs on the panel – Conservative Lia Nici and Labour’s Melanie Onn – could change her mind, Shannon said “possibly”, but reiterated how let down local people feel.
“We’re promised a lot, but it’s never delivered,” she said. “Talk of things happening… and then it doesn’t happen and people are just fed up… have been told this is what we’re going to get, but it doesn’t actually happen. And that’s why people have just lost faith.”
Read more here:
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