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BREAKING NEWS: Humza Yousaf Elected Leader of the SNP

Humza Yousaf will succeed Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP, and is now one step closer to becoming the next first minister of Scotland. The announcement came just after 2 pm this afternoon.

Mr Yousaf beat candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, becoming the first Muslim to lead a major UK party.

Following the leadership race victory, the Scottish Parliament will vote tomorrow to confirm that Mr Yousaf will become the sixth first minister and first ethnic minority leader of a devolved government.

The leadership election kicked off on Monday 13 March with Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes, and Ash Regan competing. 72,000 members of the SNP party ranked the candidates to find the candidate with the highest number of first-preference votes.

This came after Nicola Sturgeon made a public announcement in February explaining her decision to resign as first minister, citing the negative opinion of the press and the “brutality to life as a politician”. Ms Sturgeon will now formally inform King Charles of her decision to resign as first minister.

Mr Yousaf is currently Scotland's health secretary and had been viewed as the preferred candidate by Nicola Sturgeon and her inner circle.

Today, 50,494 ballot papers were received from 72,169 eligible members. Ballots closed at noon today.

Tomorrow, MSPs will vote for their preferred candidate between the newly elected first minister and any MSP – from any party – that has been nominated. Following brief speeches made by all candidates, a process of voting will take place, until one candidate receives more votes than all the other candidates combined.

It is expected for Mr Yousaf to win, and he may be sworn in as early as Wednesday.

On Thursday, he will face opposition leaders for the first time at the weekly First Minister's Questions session.

Mr Yousaf was educated at a private school in Glasgow. He studied politics at Glasgow University before becoming a parliamentary assistant and aide to Alex Salmond, graduate of the University of St Andrews and former first minister of Scotland.

Mr Yousaf says he will continue to push for Scottish independence, adding that Scotland is a European nation. He paid tributes to Mr Regan and Ms Forbes, saying that they put in a “good shift” in their campaigns.

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