The race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland is on, with Scotland’s Finance Minister Kate Forbes, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, and former minister Ash Regan announcing their candidacies.

Forbes promised competent leadership to deliver independence and lead the SNP with integrity and commitment, pledging to listen and reach out to the membership.

Yousaf, who has been in government for more than ten years in Scotland, sees himself as a continuity candidate but expressed concerns about using a Westminster general election as a de-facto referendum.

Regan resigned from the Scottish Government last year over the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and supports using the next election as a de-facto referendum.

Scotland’s Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf stated, “I’m not as wedded to it as the First Minister I know has said that it’s her preference. So I’m not going to go in with a preference just now. I’m going to listen to what the membership has got to say. But be in no doubt, the Westminster election, for Scotland, of course it will be about that question of independence.”

The SNP leadership election is scheduled for March 27th.The nominations to stand close on Friday, and candidates need 100 votes from 20 different branches to proceed. With over 100,000 members, the wider vote will determine the next party leader and first minister of Scotland.


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