Humza Yousaf

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Not to be confused with Hamza Yusuf.
Humza Yousaf
Minister for Europe and International Development
Assumed office
6 September 2012
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Office created
Parliamentary Liaison Officer
to the First Minister of Scotland
In office
May 2011 – September 2012
Preceded by Aileen Campbell
Succeeded by Mark McDonald
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Personal details
Born (1985-04-07) 7 April 1985 (age 29)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Gail Lythgoe, since 2010
Education Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Politician
Religion Islam

Humza Yousaf (born 7 April 1985) is a Scottish politician who is the Minister for Europe and International Development and a Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 and became a junior minister in 2012.

Early life and education[edit]

Yousaf is the son of immigrants who came to Britain in the 1960s: his mother came from Kenya and his father from Pakistan.

Yousaf was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow,[1] followed by the University of Glasgow, where he took a degree in Politics.

Yousaf worked at the Scottish Parliament with the late Bashir Ahmad, an SNP politician, who was a personal influence. Since then he has worked for a number of MSPs including Anne McLaughlin, Nicola Sturgeon and the First Minister, Alex Salmond.

Yousaf has been involved in community work, ranging from youth organisations to charity fundraising, for most of his life.[2] He was the volunteer media spokesperson for the charity Islamic Relief,[2] worked for community radio for 12 years and on a project which provided food packages to the homeless and asylum seekers in Glasgow. He was awarded the “Future Force of Politics Award 2010”, which was presented to him in Glasgow City Chambers. In 2008 he attended the IVLP programme which is run by the US State Department.[3]

Scottish Parliament[edit]

In 2011, he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a regional member for Glasgow. Yousaf was appointed to the Justice and Public Audit Committees and to the post of Parliamentary Liaison Officer to Alex Salmond. He appeared in a Question Time debate on BBC Scotland in February 2013, in which he was criticised for calling David Dimbleby 'patronising' in his chairing of the debate.[4]

On 9 September 2014, Yousaf, as a spokesman for the Pro-Scottish Independence "Yes" campaign, appeared on the BBC News channel and remarked that Elizabeth II would "be welcome if she ever comes to Scotland".

Junior Minister[edit]

On 5 September 2012, Yousaf became the Minister for External Affairs and International Development after Alex Salmond had undertaken his first major cabinet reshuffle of the parliamentary session.[5] This junior ministerial appointment saw him working under the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. He is the first Muslim Minister to be appointed to the Scottish Government.[6] Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in November 2014, keeping Yousaf as a junior minister, although the name of the position he held was changed to the Minister for Europe and International Development.[7]


Yousaf married Gail Lythgoe in 2010.


  1. ^ "FPs Humza Yousaf and John Mason elected as MSPs". Hutchesons' Grammar School. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Allan, Vicky (13 January 2013). "Exclusive: SNP aims to make independent Scotland a world leader in aid". The Herald (Newsquest). Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Current MSPS: HumzaYousef: Register of Interests". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Question Time - Stirling - the referendum polls - Humza Yousaf and Brian Souter, February 8, 2013 
  5. ^ "Who is in the Scottish cabinet?". BBC News (BBC). 5 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Building links with Pakistan" (Press release). Scottish Government. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News (BBC). 21 November 2014. 

External links[edit]