Humza Yousaf

Not to be confused with Hamza Yusuf.
Humza Yousaf
Minister for Transport and the Islands
Assumed office
18 May 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Derek Mackay
Minister for Europe and International Development
Minister for External Affairs and International Development (2012-2014)
In office
6 September 2012  18 May 2016
First Minister Alex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
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 Pollok
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded by Johann Lamont
Majority 6,482 (23.2%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
In office
6 May 2011  6 May 2016
Personal details
Born (1985-04-07) 7 April 1985
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Gail Lythgoe (m.2010)
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Community worker
Religion Islam

Humza Haroon Yousaf (born 7 April 1985) is a Scottish National Party politician who is the Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands. He has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Pollok constituency since May 2016, having previously been an MSP for the Glasgow region from 2011 to 2016. He was appointed to his first junior ministerial post in 2012, a little over a year after he was first elected to the Scottish Parliament.

Early life and education

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] He studied Politics at the University of Glasgow, graduating with a MA in 2007.[2]

From an early age, Yousaf was involved in community work, ranging from youth organisations to charity fundraising.[3] He was the volunteer media spokesperson for the charity Islamic Relief,[3] worked for community radio for 12 years and on a project which provided food packages to the homeless 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.[4] 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 then the First Minister.[5][6] In 2008, while working as an aide, Yousaf took part in the IVLP programme, an exchange that is run by the US State Department.[7] 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.[8]

Scottish Parliament

In May 2011, he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a regional member for Glasgow.[9] At just 25 years of age, he was the youngest MSP to be elected to the Scottish Parliament.[10] When being sworn in, he took his oath in English then Urdu reflecting his Scottish-Pakistani identity;[11] he was dressed in a traditional sherwani decorated with a Partick Thistle tartan touch and a plaid draped over his shoulder.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] This junior ministerial appointment saw him working under the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. He is the first Muslim Minister to be appointed to the Scottish Government.[15][16] Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in November 2014, keeping Yousaf as a junior minister, although the name of the position he held was changed to the Minister for Europe and International Development.[17] On 18 May 2016 he was moved to the position of Minister for Transport and the Islands in a reshuffle.[18]


Yousaf is a columnist for the Evening Times.[19]


  1. "FPs Humza Yousaf and John Mason elected as MSPs". Hutchesons' Grammar School. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  2. "Alumni: Our alumni: Life after Glasgow: Notable alumni". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  3. 1 2 Allan, Vicky (13 January 2013). "Exclusive: SNP aims to make independent Scotland a world leader in aid". The Herald. Newsquest. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  4. Robertson, Alan (18 December 2012). "Home and away: Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf". Hoyrood magazine. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  5. "MSPs: Current MSPs: Humza Yousaf: Personal Information". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  6. Paterson, Stewart (16 November 2012). "Nicola Sturgeon named Scotland's top politician ... again". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  7. "Current MSPS: HumzaYousef: Register of Interests". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  8. "Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Award Winners 2009". 14 December 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  9. "Vote 2011: Scotland elections: Regions: Glasgow results". BBC News. BBC. 8 May 2011.
  10. "Stars who have risen and fallen". The Herald. Newsquest. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  11. "MSPs to take oaths in six languages". STV News. STV Group. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  12. Paterson, Stewart (12 May 2011). "Glasgow's magnificent seven sworn in as MSPs". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  13. "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.
  14. "Who is in the Scottish cabinet?". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  15. "Democracy live: Ministerial appointments debate". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  16. "Building links with Pakistan" (Press release). Scottish Government. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  17. "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 21 November 2014.
  18. "New Islands minister appointed". The Orcadian. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  19. "Humza Yousaf: Columnist". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 3 April 2015.

External links

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