Politics latest: Scottish first minister Yousaf quits after 'biggest political miscalculation of his career' – Sky News

Jennifer Nwajagu
9 Min Read

Kate Forbes tells Sky News she is considering running to replace Humza Yousaf as SNP leader, as John Swinney – another potential candidate – says the SNP must “come together”.
Tuesday 30 April 2024 23:00, UK
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We’ll be back from 6am with all the latest from Westminster.
But until then, here are the headlines:
Ireland’s prime minister has insisted the UK must respect an existing arrangement between the two countries to take back asylum seekers.
Simon Harris told Sky News the UK must honour a deal that has been in place since 2020 as a row escalates over the Irish government’s new plans to return to the UK asylum seekers who cross the border into the Republic from Northern Ireland.
Irish justice minister Helen McEntee told a parliamentary committee last week that more than 80% of recent arrivals in Ireland came via the land border with Northern Ireland.
The UK government has said it will not take back asylum seekers who cross the border into Ireland “until the EU accepts that we can send them back to France”.
You can read more from Sky News below:
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has resigned – days after he cut the SNP’s powersharing deal with the Scottish Greens.
It followed a bitter row over the SNP’s climbdown on climate targets as he said the agreement between the parties had “served its purpose”.
As a result, his former Green allies teamed up with the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats to get behind two no-confidence motions, one in himself as leader of Scotland and another regarding the entire Scottish government.
Now attention turns to another SNP leadership contest and what the divisions in Scottish politics could mean for the future of the independence campaign.  
On the Sky News Daily, Matt Barbet speaks to Paul Hutcheon, political editor of the Daily Record, and Shona Craven, from The National, about how the SNP can move on after Mr Yousaf’s resignation.
Plus, Connor Gillies, our Scotland correspondent, explains how the leadership election will unfold.  
The Sky News live poll tracker – collated and updated by our Data and Forensics team – aggregates various surveys to indicate how voters feel about the different political parties.

With the local election campaign well under way, Labour is still sitting comfortably ahead, with the Tories trailing behind.
See the latest update below – and you can read more about the methodology behind the tracker here.
The UK has sent the first failed asylum seeker to Rwanda – under a voluntary scheme.
The scheme is for those who have gone through the asylum process and had permission rejected, rather than for migrants who have illegally entered Britain by crossing the Channel on small boats.
The migrant was sent on a commercial flight and handed a fee from the British taxpayer to help relocate under the terms of a deal with Rwanda.
According to The Sun, the man of African origin claimed asylum in the UK but was rejected at the end of last year. He then accepted the offer to go to Rwanda.
He left the UK on Monday.
You can read more from Sky News here: 
By Sam Coates, deputy political editor
More than 2,600 seats are up for election in 107 English councils on Thursday.
Now, YouGov has made its final calls for some key contests using the MRP polling method after interviewing almost 9,000 people over two weeks.
Here, exclusively on Sky News, are the headlines…
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf resigned yesterday in the face of two confidence votes after he dramatically brought the power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens to an end last week.
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 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 Scotland’s only gender clinic, resulted in the Greens announcing they would have a vote on the future of the power-sharing deal. 
What brought things to a head?
Mr Yousaf decided to pull the plug on the agreement last Thursday – arguing it had “served its purpose” – prompting a major fallout with his former allies, who vowed to back a no-confidence motion in his leadership proposed by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.
Scottish Labour also submitted a motion of no confidence in the Scottish government as a whole.
In the face of the two votes, Mr Yousaf announced he would stand down yesterday, but said he would stay on to allow a successor to be chosen.
Scotland’s health secretary has been told the NHS is “not coping, GPs are struggling, and primary care is on its knees”.
Neil Gray came under questioning at the Scottish parliament on Tuesday amid reports that the number of private GP clinics in Scotland has more than tripled since the COVID pandemic as patients have struggled to get appointments on the NHS.
Scottish Labour MSP Carol Mochan asked: “Does the cabinet secretary accept that by not adequately funding GP services, this government have overseen the development of a two-tier health system where the worst off go without and even those on lower incomes are forced to pay for them or their loved ones just to see a GP?”
In response, Mr Gray said COVID was the “biggest shock in the history of the NHS and its effects are still felt”.
You can read more from Sky News below:
Nominations have now opened in the SNP leadership contest to find a replacement for First Minister Humza Yousaf after he announced he was stepping down yesterday.
Senior figures have backed former deputy first minister John Swinney for the top job, while a smaller number of the party’s parliamentarians have backed former finance secretary Kate Forbes.
Mr Yousaf has said he will stay on to allow a successor to be chosen.
How does the contest work?
The SNP’s national secretary announced nominations had opened yesterday at 11.59pm.
They will close next Monday.
Prospective candidates will need to gain the support of 100 members from 20 different SNP branches in order to qualify for the contest.
What happens next?
Whoever wins the contest will then need to be able to win enough votes in Holyrood to be elected first minister.
The SNP needs just two votes to secure an overall majority.
The most likely backers for the SNP would be the Greens, given both parties are pro-independence.
However, the Greens announced last week they would not support the first minister in a confidence vote after Mr Yousaf scrapped the powersharing agreement between the party and the SNP, which eventually led to his political downfall.
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. 
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