Cabinet secretary aspires to SNP leadership but Sturgeon ticks him off at First Minister’s Questions
By Lucy Ashton
Social media users have been dismayed at footage of Nicola Sturgeon halting Humza Yousaf mid-sentence as he tries to advise her at Holyrood.
The hapless health secretary has his eyes on Ms Sturgeon’s job as SNP leader and is widely seen as the bookie’s favourite and the First Minister’s favoured candidate.
But that didn’t stop her from raising a finger to silence him while he spoke to her as she made a note of something at FMQs on Thursday.
Mr Yousaf was left looking downcast at his desk while Ms Sturgeon got on with her work.
The video was posted by Scottish Labour councillor for Inverclyde Martin McCluskey, who said: “Doesn’t look like Nicola Sturgeon was up for taking much advice from Humza on the NHS at #FMQs”.
The video has racked up nearly 80,000 views on Twitter already after being posted shortly after FMQs.
Among those to comment on the clip was Better Together strategist Blair McDougall. He said: “I’m no expert on body language but just look at the two of them.”
One person commented: “This probably sums up Sturgeon in a nutshell. If Humza is the next FM we all know who will be controlling him.”
And another said: “This couldn’t look any worse for @HumzaYousaf He has the appearance of a subservient subordinate rather than a leader in waiting. I wonder who will be pulling his strings in 5 short weeks from now?”
SNP leadership candidates for Bute House are Ash Regan and Katie Forbes.
Mr Yousaf finds himself as the favourite for the First Minister role following Ms Sturgeon’s shock resignation earlier this month.
He is up against Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, whose views on gay marriage have caused extreme damage to her campaign, and gender rebel Ash Regan.
But he was under fire on Thursday as his handling of the health brief was blasted by opponents.
Tory leader Douglas Ross nailed him with a speech in which he laid out some of his failings, including getting caught driving without insurance when transport minister, getting duped by a fake video of Rangers football players celebrating a title win and damaging free speech with his Hate Crime Bill.
Top picture: SNP Cabinet Secretary for Health Humza Yousaf at the height of the covid crisis.