Humza Yousaf said he felt like the “luckiest man in the world” after being elected as the new SNP leader.
Mr Yousaf, who has been Scottish Health Secretary since 2021, succeeds Nicola Sturgeon in that role, and will now be formally elected by MSPs as Scotland’s sixth first minister on Tuesday.
He recorded a narrow victory over rival Kate Forbes once second preference votes were taken into account when Ash Regan was eliminated from the contest after the first round of voting.
In a speech after his victory was announced, he pledged to “dedicate every waking moment” to serving the people of Scotland.
He will be the first person from an ethnic minority background to be first minister and the first Muslim to lead the country – as well as the youngest ever first ministe
The 37-year old recalled how his grandparents had moved from the Punjab to Scotland more than six decades ago
He said: “As immigrants to this country, who knew barely a word of English, they could not have imagined in their wildest dreams that their grandson would one day be on the cusp of being the next first minister of Scotland.”
The new leader continued: “We should all take pride in the fact that today we have sent a clear message, that your colour of skin, or your faith, is not a barrier to leading the country we all call home.
From the Punjab to our Parliament, this is a journey over generations that reminds us that we should be celebrating and always celebrate the migrants who contribute so much to our country.”
Mr Yousaf pledged to work to unite the SNP after a “bruising” leadership contest sparked by Ms Sturgeon’s sudden resignation.
( Source The Independent)