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 has served as the Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow since 2011. He was elected via the Mixed Member Proportional Representation from the Party List. Since September 2012, he has been Minister for Europe and International Development, a junior ministerial appointment under the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.

Early life[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.

Life and career[edit]

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. He was Media Spokesperson for the charity Islamic Relief, 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. He is also a former alumnus of the US State Department IVLP programme.

Election to Scottish Parliament[edit]

On his election to the Scottish Parliament, 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.[2]

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".

SNP leadership, 2014[edit]

Following a defeat in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Alex Salmond announced his resignation, due to take effect in November 2014.[3] Following this, it was widely speculated that his Deputy and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, would replace him in both roles unopposed.[4] There was further speculation that Yousaf, along with Alex Neil and Angus Robertson would challenge Sturgeon for the role: however, Yousaf claimed that he was a member of "Team Sturgeon".[5]


Yousaf married Gail Lythgoe in 2010.


External links[edit]