Kate Forbes considering bid to replace Humza Yousaf as SNP leader

Labour vow to continue with attempts to oust the entire Scottish Cabinet after Tories ditch no-confidence motion.

  • Kate Forbes is considering running to succeed Humza Yousaf as SNP leader
  • John Swinney has received the backing of senior SNP figures but is yet to declare
  • Labour’s no-confidence motion against the Scottish Government will be voted on this Wednesday
  • Conservatives said they would not go ahead with their motion of no-confidence in Yousaf this week
  • Nominations open in SNP leadership race but no candidates have declared

Kate Forbes is considering a bid to succeed Humza Yousaf as SNP leader.

The former finance secretary told STV News that she had a “groundswell of support”.

“I’ve not made a decision yet, I’m definitely weighing things up,” she said.

Forbes said she was considering what is best for the party, the country, and her family.

No candidates have formally declared as the SNP begins its search for a successor to Yousaf – but the Scottish Government will still face a vote of no confidence in Holyrood on Wednesday.

Several high-profile figures in the party backed John Swinney as the best candidate for the job.

Speaking on Tuesday, the former SNP leader said the party found itself in a “different and more difficult situation” than it was 12 months ago – when he decided not to run.

“I would not be doing a service to the many, many, many people who have contacted me asking me to stand if I don’t think about this properly,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be my style to think, to ignore, the representations that are made to me. I’m someone who listens, who listens and addresses the points that are put to me.

“And that’s exactly what I’m doing just now.”

It comes after the Scottish Conservatives withdrew their no-confidence motion against Humza Yousaf following his resignation, with the party declaring “job done”.


Scottish Conservatives have said they would not go ahead with their motion of no-confidence in Yousaf this week. Douglas Ross declared ‘job done’ after the First Minister announced he would resign. Read more on the STV News website. #douglasross #scottishconservatives #humzayousaf #noconfidence #stv #stvnews #scottishpolitics #politics #scotland

♬ original sound – STV News

MSPs were due to hold the ballot against the First Minister this week but that has been scrapped after Yousaf said on Monday that he would quit as FM.

The SNP leader also faced a Labour motion against his entire government.

The Scottish Parliament confirmed the motion – which, if passed, would require all ministers in the minority SNP Government to stand down – would be debated and voted on this Wednesday.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said he wanted to use his motion to highlight the need for a Holyrood election following the turmoil in the SNP.

He said the “genie was out of the bottle” for the SNP, adding: “I think this is a dysfunctional, chaotic, divided political party.”

In a meeting of Holyrood’s parliamentary bureau on Tuesday, the Labour motion against the Government was confirmed for Wednesday afternoon.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said his party had already achieved its aim of ousting Yousaf but would support Labour’s vote against the government.

He 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.

Patrick Harvie: ‘Broken trust’ rules out future parliamentary partnership with SNP

“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.”

Labour’s motion has been backed by the Liberal Democrats and the Tories but is likely to fail without the support of the Greens.

Green MSP Gillian Mackay signalled the party would not vote for the motion, as she accused Sarwar of “political gameplaying”.

She said: “Like the withdrawn Tory motion, the Labour one has clearly been overtaken by events. Pursuing it would achieve nothing, and would simply mean more parliamentary game-playing.

“Labour MSPs have spent the last few days saying the government needs to get back to running the country, so why do they want to waste the valuable time of the Scottish Parliament, staff and MSPs by carrying on with this charade when it has no chance of passing?”

Mackay added: “We bear no personal animosity to the First Minister or the SNP, and, as Scottish Greens, are already getting back to business.”

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code