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

Tee Rasheed
11 Min Read

A motion of no confidence in the Scottish government tabled by Labour will be voted on tomorrow; John Swinney – a potential candidate to succeed Humza Yousaf – says the SNP must “come together”.
Tuesday 30 April 2024 13:44, UK
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By Paul Kelso, business correspondent
Border checks on food and plant imports will add billions of pounds to the cost of doing business with the European Union, industry figures have warned.
From today European imports considered a “medium risk” to UK biosecurity will face physical inspection as part of a new border regime introduced almost eight years after the Brexit vote, and delayed five times in two years.
Plant and animal inspectors will examine a proportion of imported goods including fresh meat, fish, and dairy produce, a process that importers fear will disrupt supply chains, particularly for time-critical fresh goods.
The physical checks come three months after the introduction of new documentation for imports, including health certificates that require vets and plant inspectors to sign off consignments.
With importers also facing a charge for each consignment that comes into the UK irrespective of whether it is stopped for inspection, the government admits it will add more than £330m to annual business costs, and add 0.2% to food inflation over three years.
Read more about the warning here:
The Tories have “lost” thousands of asylum seekers they want to send to Rwanda, Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said.
It comes after reports that of 5,700 people identified for removal to Rwanda only 2,145 have reported to the Home Office.
Ms Reeves said: “The Conservatives have lost control of the borders and now they have literally lost the people who they say they’re going to be sending to Rwanda.
“They’ve lost control of the immigration and asylum system, and it is ordinary working people that are paying the price.”
She added: “The government need to crack down on the criminal gangs that are luring people to this country, and then process the claims without losing the asylum seekers, which is now what is appearing to happen.”
This morning Health Secretary Victoria Atkins told Sky News law enforcement agencies are pursuing those asylum seekers who have failed to keep in contact with the Home Office (see 7.31am post).
A motion of no confidence in the Scottish government tabled by the Scottish Labour Party will be debated and voted on tomorrow, Holyrood has confirmed.
If it passes all Scottish ministers would be required to stand down.
But while the Scottish Tories and Lib Dems are backing the motion, without the support of the Greens it will be defeated.
Scottish Labour has 22 MSPs at Holyrood, the Tories have 31 and the Lib Dems have four, making a total of 57 votes.
The SNP has 63 seats in the Scottish Parliament, meaning the Greens (seven) and Alba (one) will need to vote with the other opposition parties for the motion to pass.
With Humza Yousaf stepping down as Scotland’s first minister and SNP leader, Scotland reporter Jenness Mitchell takes a look at some of the potential candidates that could throw their hat into the ring to take the top job.
Labour’s shadow pensions minister Gill Furniss has stepped down “due to personal reasons,” a party spokesperson has confirmed.
The MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, was appointed to the role in September last year.
The media industry “strengthens democracy” and “enriches society” by holding governments to account, Rishi Sunak has said.
The prime minister opened the Society of Editors 25th anniversary conference with a keynote speech in which he emphasised the importance of freedom of speech and a free press in the UK.
Mr Sunak said: “When the media holds governments accountable, exposes corruption, and gives new voices a platform, it strengthens democracy. It enriches society. It builds the habits of freedom.”
He added: “I will say that politicians and the media will always clash, it’s a law of nature, as much as night follows day.
“And I won’t always like what you write, or the questions that you ask, I won’t always agree with what you say, or the way that you represent the government. But that’s okay.”

He continued: “It’s your job to hold us to account, and for all we might clash, I know how important your role is.
“So please keep doing what you’re doing, constantly questioning, investigating and seeking the truth. Because as long as the British media thrives, so will British democracy.”
There are “operational arrangements” between the UK and the Republic of Ireland but “not a legal obligation” to accept the return of asylum seekers, Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson has said.
It comes amid a row over the number of asylum seekers crossing the border from Northern Ireland into Ireland.
The prime minister had said the increase showed his Rwanda plan was working as a deterrent.
His spokesperson added that “under those operational arrangements no asylum seekers have been returned to the UK. It’s up to the UK government who we do and do not accept into the country”.
It comes after the Irish prime minister insisted the UK must respect an existing arrangement to take back asylum seekers (see 9.19am post).
Simon Harris told Sky News the UK must honour the agreement as a new Irish law is being drafted to ensure the UK is seen as a safe country for migrants despite Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda plan.
“There is already an agreement in place between Ireland and Britain, what we’re doing is giving legal clarity in relation to that agreement which will allow us to designate the UK as a safe country again,” he said.
“It’s also very important for people in Britain to understand that this is a two-way agreement. This is to ensure that refugees can be sent in both directions if their application is inadmissible.”
The number of children living in temporary accommodation has reached a record high.
Some 145,800 children were in temporary accommodation as of the end of December last year, up a fifth on 20 years ago when records began.
The figure is up 15% from 126,340 on the same period in 2022, according to figures published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Homelessness charity Shelter warned a generation are having their lives “blighted by homelessness”.
Chief executive Polly Neate said: “The government cannot stand idly by while a generation of children have their lives blighted by homelessness.”
She said “decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social homes has left families struggling to cobble together extortionate sums every month to keep a roof over their heads”.
She went on to say political parties must commit to “ending the housing emergency” and urged them all to pledge to build 90,000 social homes a year for 10 years, as well as to undertake an “overhaul of the Renters (Reform) Bill so that it delivers genuine safety and security for private renters”.
The Scottish Conservatives are withdrawing their motion of no confidence in Humsa Yousaf, arguing they got the “job done” after the first minister announced his intention to resign.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Conservative motion of no confidence in Humza Yousaf achieved its purpose by forcing him to resign.
“While, on a personal level, I wish him well for the future, he was a disaster as first minister and it’s in Scotland’s interests that he goes.
“The next goal for my party is to see off this feuding, failing SNP government and switch the focus away from their independence obsession and on to the public’s real priorities – such as growing the economy and improving Scotland’s ailing public services.
“As it’s job done in terms of Humza Yousaf, there’s no longer any need for us to press ahead with a debate on our no-confidence motion.”
By Connor Gillies, Scotland correspondent
A possible candidate to succeed Humza Yousaf has told Sky News the party needs to “come together” in the wake of the SNP leader’s “dramatic” departure.
John Swinney is tipped to become the next first minister with current cabinet ministers throwing their weight behind his possible campaign.
Mr Swinney, a close ally of Nicola Sturgeon, said he is carefully considering his options.
Some SNP figures fear a coronation with no contest.
Kate Forbes, who ran last year and got almost 50% of the membership support, is also thinking of throwing her hat in the ring.
Sources close to her have suggested installing Mr Swinney would be tantamount to a “stitch-up”.
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