Hamza Yousuf rules out an alliance with the ALBA party led by Alex Salmond

  • Written by James Cook
  • Scotland Editor

Comment on the photo, Hamza Yusuf and his Scottish government, led by the Scottish National Party, face a vote of confidence

BBC News: The First Minister of Scotland rules out concluding an electoral agreement with the ALBA party led by Alex Salmond.

Salmond indicated that Alba could support Humza Yusuf in a vote of confidence if the SNP cooperated to maximize the number of pro-independence parliamentarians.

A source close to Youssef said the SNP leader would not agree to such a deal at Westminster or Holyrood.

The source said: “The electoral agreement with Alba is a fantasy.”

“We're not particularly bothered by that,” Salmond told the BBC's Sunday program with Laura Kuenssberg.

Instead, he urged the First Minister to consider other proposals from Alba, such as refocusing on independence, on issues such as education, health, housing, the economy and “moving away from the culture wars”.

But Stuart Macdonald, the SNP MP for Glasgow South, said the deal with Salmond would “go like a bucket of hail with voters and be met with horror in European capitals” because the former first minister used to host a show on a TV channel. A television channel funded by Vladimir Putin's Russia.

The current First Minister is struggling for his political future after the Scottish Greens were expelled from his government.

He faces a vote of confidence in his government and leadership, which could come as early as Wednesday.

There is no constitutional requirement requiring Youssef to resign if he loses a vote of personal confidence, but political pressures to do so will certainly not be resisted.

Comment on the photo, Alex Salmond wants an electoral deal that would see a single pro-independence candidate stand in the election

If the government loses, LGBT members will have 28 days to approve by majority a new First Minister, or an automatic Scottish parliamentary election will be held.

At present, the next Holyrood election is scheduled for 2026, while a Westminster general election is expected to be held this year.

The Scottish Greens continue to insist they have “no confidence in Mr Youssef” and will vote against him after co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvey were sacked as ministers in the SNP-led government.

On Friday, at a hastily arranged event in Dundee to announce additional funding for affordable housing, the First Minister told me he understood why the Greens were so angry, but insisted he “didn’t mean to upset them”.

The event was supposed to be the first in a series of political announcements aimed at resetting Mr Youssef's administration in a bid to remain in office.

A second policy announcement was expected on Sunday, but BBC News has been told this will not happen now, an indication that his Remain strategy is already at risk of being derailed.

Comment on the photo, Ash Regan was a candidate in the SNP leadership election, but later defected to Alex Salmond's ALBA party

Its support will be enough for him to continue thanks to the president's casting vote, which, by convention, will be for the status quo.

Reagan made a series of demands in return for her support, including changes to gender policy, a greater focus on Scottish independence and government intervention to safeguard the future of the Grangemouth refinery in the Firth of Forth.

previously, The Sunday Times reported that Mr SalmondHe, who led the SNP government in Edinburgh from 2007 to 2014, favored reviving Alba's proposed strategy which would see one pro-independence candidate stand in each Scottish constituency.

The former First Minister told the newspaper that the idea “could be partially revived” for the general election “or there could be an understanding about a Scottish election in two years' time.”

On social media, the SNP’s MP for Perth and North Perthshire, Pete Wishart, was sarcastic, writing: “There is simply no way the SNP will make any concession to the unelectable Alba Party.

“For good reason, they have never won an election, and if we thought about hosting them they would quickly bring us down to their level.”

'Humiliating and embarrassing'

The source close to Youssef agreed, saying of the idea: “Don't be ridiculous. I mean, what are we supposed to do, abandon our current representatives?”

An Alba source told BBC News that Salmond's view on the proposed agreement was that there was a “menu of independence options” that might be acceptable to Mrs Reagan.

He hopes to hold separate meetings at his official residence, Boat House in Edinburgh, to discuss how they can “contribute constructively”.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who tabled a motion of no confidence in Yousaf, said: “This is an insulting and embarrassing letter in which Humza Yousaf begs to be allowed to keep his position.”

Speaking on Friday, Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar said he was very happy to engage with other parties, although he added: “It is clear that Hamza Yousaf's time has run out.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told Laura Kuenssberg that the SNP had “let Scotland down” and that the leader of his Holyrood party, Alex Cole-Hamilton, was rejecting Mr Youssef’s offer of a meeting.

Sir Ed said: “We will not have these talks. We want to hold a Scottish parliamentary election.”

  • Follow the latest news on The future of Hamza Yusuf And his government with Laura Kuenssberg
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