Humza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf

MSP
Humza Yousaf 2018.jpg
Yousaf in 2018
Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Assumed office
26 June 2018
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Michael Matheson
Minister for Transport and the Islands
In office
18 May 2016 – 26 June 2018
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Derek Mackay
Succeeded by Paul Wheelhouse
Minister for Europe and International Development[1]
In office
6 September 2012 – 18 May 2016
First Minister Alex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Alasdair Allan
Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister of Scotland
In office
25 May 2011 – 4 September 2012
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Aileen Campbell
Succeeded by Mark McDonald
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow Pollok
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Preceded by Johann Lamont
Majority 6,482 (23.2%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
5 May 2011 – 5 May 2016
Personal details
Born
Humza Haroon Yousaf

(1985-04-07) 7 April 1985 (age 36)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s)
Gail Lythgoe
( m. 2010; div. 2017)

Nadia El-Nakla
( m. 2019)
Children 2
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Politician

Humza Haroon Yousaf (born 7 April 1985) is a Scottish politician who has served as Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 2018. A member of the Scottish National Party, he has been Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Pollok since 2016, having previously been an MSP for the Glasgow region from 2011 to 2016. He served as Minister for External Affairs and International Development from 2012 until 2014 and as Minister for Europe and International Development from 2014 until 2016. He was Minister for Transport and the Islands from 2016 until 2018.

Yousaf became the first non-white and first Muslim member of the Scottish Government when he was appointed as a minister in 2012.[2][3] At age 27, he was also the youngest minister ever appointed to the government. With his appointment as Justice Secretary in 2018, Yousaf became Scotland's first ethnic minority and first Muslim cabinet minister and, aged 33, was also the youngest person to become a cabinet minister.

Early life and education

Yousaf was born in Glasgow. His father, Muzaffar, was born in Mian Channu, Pakistan, and emigrated to Glasgow with his family in the 1960s, eventually working as an accountant: his mother, Shaaista Bhutta, was born in Kenya to a family of South Asian descent that later emigrated to Scotland. Yousaf was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow, [4] where he took Modern Studies. It was Modern Studies that inspired him to become involved in politics. He studied Politics at the University of Glasgow, graduating with an MA in 2007.[5] Whilst at university, Yousaf was President of the Glasgow University Muslim Students Association (GUMSA) as well as a prominent figure involved in student politics in the Students' representative council.

From an early age, Yousaf was involved in community work, ranging from youth organisations to charity fundraising.[6] He was the volunteer media spokesperson for the charity Islamic Relief,[6] worked for community radio for twelve years and on a project which provided food packages to homeless people and asylum seekers in Glasgow.

Yousaf worked as a Parliamentary assistant for Bashir Ahmad, from Ahmad's election as Scotland's first Muslim MSP in 2007 until Ahmad's death two years later.[7] Ahmad was a personal influence. Yousaf then worked as Parliamentary assistant for a few other MSPs including: Anne McLaughlin, Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond who was the-then First Minister.[8][9] In 2008, whilst working as an aide, Yousaf took part in the IVLP programme, an exchange that is run by the US State Department.[10] He was awarded the “Future Force of Politics” at the Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Awards in 2009, which was presented to him in Glasgow City Chambers.[11]

Scottish Parliament

Official parliamentary portrait, 2011

In May 2011, Yousaf was elected to the Scottish Parliament as an additional member for the Glasgow region.[12] At just 25 years of age, he was the youngest MSP to be elected to the Scottish Parliament.[13] When being sworn in, he took his oath in English then Urdu reflecting his Scottish-Pakistani identity;[14] he was dressed in a traditional sherwani decorated with a Partick Thistle tartan touch and a plaid draped over his shoulder.[15] Yousaf was appointed to the Justice and Public Audit Committees. On 25 May 2011 he was appointed as a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Office of the First Minister, remaining in this post until 4 September 2012.[16]

Junior minister

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.[17] This junior ministerial appointment saw him working under the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. He is the first Scottish Asian and Muslim to be appointed as a Minister to the Scottish Government.[18][19]

When Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in November 2014, she kept Yousaf as a junior minister, although the name of the position he held was changed to the Minister for Europe and International Development.[20] On 18 May 2016, he was moved to the position of Minister for Transport and the Islands in a reshuffle.[21]

Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Yousaf at Scottish Government press conference on Coronavirus in 2020.

On 26 June 2018, Yousaf was moved to the position of Justice Secretary in the Cabinet.[22] One of his flagship policies was the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill which he promised would streamline existing legislation as well as add additional protections to persecuted minorities while maintaining rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.[23] The bill has been criticised by the Catholic Church, the National Secular Society as well as writers,[24] and in September 2020 it was amended to remove prosecution for cases of unintendedly stirring up hate, which could theoretically include libraries stocking contentious books.[25] In October 2020, Yousaf said that the exception to the Public Order Act 1986 which allows people to use otherwise illegal language in their own homes should be abolished.[26]

Personal life

In 2019, Yousaf married SNP worker Nadia El-Nakla and has one child with her.[27][28] He was married to former SNP Executive Committee member Gail Lythgoe between 2010 and 2017.[29][30][31]

Yousaf is a columnist for the Glasgow Times.[32]

In November 2016, Yousaf was fined £300 and had six penalty points added to his driving licence, after being caught by police for driving a friend's car without being insured to drive it. Yousaf accepted full responsibility saying: "I totally accept the decision. I paid the fine and told my insurers about the points. This was an honest mistake, and the result of my personal circumstances during my separation."[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ External Affairs and International Development (2012–14)
  2. ^ "Democracy live: Ministerial appointments debate". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Building links with Pakistan" (Press release). Scottish Government. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  4. ^ "FPs Humza Yousaf and John Mason elected as MSPs". Hutchesons' Grammar School. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Alumni: Our alumni: Life after Glasgow: Notable alumni". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Robertson, Alan (18 December 2012). "Home and away: Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf". Hoyrood magazine. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  8. ^ "MSPs: Current MSPs: Humza Yousaf: Personal Information". Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  9. ^ Paterson, Stewart (16 November 2012). "Nicola Sturgeon named Scotland's top politician ... again". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Current MSPS: HumzaYousef: Register of Interests". Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Award Winners 2009". redhotcurry.com. 14 December 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Vote 2011: Scotland elections: Regions: Glasgow results". BBC News. BBC. 8 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Stars who have risen and fallen". The Herald. Newsquest. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  14. ^ "MSPs to take oaths in six languages". STV News. STV Group. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  15. ^ Paterson, Stewart (12 May 2011). "Glasgow's magnificent seven sworn in as MSPs". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Scottish Parliament Fact sheet: Ministers, Law Officers and Parliamentary Liaison Officers by Cabinet: Session 4" (PDF). Scottish Parliament. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Who is in the Scottish cabinet?". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Democracy live: Ministerial appointments debate". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Building links with Pakistan" (Press release). Scottish Government. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 21 November 2014.
  21. ^ "New Islands minister appointed". The Orcadian. 19 May 2016. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Scottish Government Cabinet Reshuffle: Who's in and Who's out?". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing Ltd. 26 June 2018.
  23. ^ Yousaf, Humza. "Humza Yousaf: Hate Crime Bill strikes right balance between respecting freedom of expression and tackling hate speech". Press and Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Free speech row over new hate crime bill in Scotland". BBC News. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  25. ^ "Controversial hate crime legislation to be changed". BBC News. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  26. ^ McLaughlin, Mark (28 October 2020). "Hate crime bill: Hate talk in homes 'must be prosecuted'". The Times. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  27. ^ Malik, Paul. "Dundee case worker married to justice secretary shares heartbreak after three miscarriages".
  28. ^ Clegg, David (17 May 2019). "SNP infighting more like Game of Thrones plot than conduct of political party". dailyrecord.
  29. ^ "SNP activist caught up in 'fake leaflet' row". www.scotsman.com.
  30. ^ Smith, Emma (30 July 2011). "Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf's fury at 'random' airport check". dailyrecord.
  31. ^ "Journey of discovery: interview with Humza Yousaf". Holyrood Website. 4 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Profile: Humza Yousaf". www.glasgowtimes.co.uk.
  33. ^ "SNP Transport Minister Humza Yousaf blames marriage split for driving without insurance". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 1 March 2020.

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