About Humza Yousaf

About Humza Yousaf MSP

Glasgow is the City I was born in and raised, and it is the honour of my life to represent the people of Glasgow Pollok. The constituency is incredibly diverse, and each community I represent is unique.

I have often been asked why I stood for election. It was never something I planned. Although I studied Politics at Glasgow University, I always thought I would do political research or some other work that involved being in the background – where I was always most comfortable. And that is where I started my political career as the Office Manager for Bashir Ahmad MSP, the first ethnic minority MSP to be elected to the Scottish Parliament.

Sadly, Bashir passed away mid-way through his term in 2009. I was devastated at his sudden passing, he was a mentor of mine as well as a good family friend who I had known since birth.

After he passed away, I continued to work for various MSPs in the Scottish Parliament including Anne McLaughlin MSP and Nicola Sturgeon.

In the run up to the 2011 elections I was asked by many people within the SNP to consider standing for election. In the end it was an easy decision. I had spent my whole life engaged in public service. As a young boy I was encouraged by my parents to be involved in my community. I volunteered for Community Radio for 12 years and volunteered as the Media Spokesperson for the International Development charity Islamic Relief. During my University years, I launched an initiative providing food packages for asylum seekers in Glasgow. I was also quite active in the campaign against the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

So standing for election in 2011 in my home City of Glasgow seemed a no brainer. I was elected and threw myself into campaigns where I hoped to make a difference, for example campaigning for an opt-out Organ Donor system, which I am now pleased is in place.

I was appointed to the Scottish Government in 2012 as the Minister for External Affairs and International Development. It was a moment of great pride for me and my family, at the time I was the youngest person to be appointed to the Scottish Government and the first ethnic minority to be appointed.

It was the most humbling post in Government I have ever had. I saw some of the worst poverty in the world, luckily I was in a position to help, in a small way, through the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund that I was in-charge of.

I played an active role in the 2014 Scottish Independence Campaign as a Senior Organiser in Glasgow for the SNP. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried a few tears at the result of the 2014 referendum, the 19th September is not a day I will forget easily. However, it only strengthened my resolve to campaign even harder for an independent Scotland.

In 2016, I was honoured to have been elected to the Glasgow Pollok constituency. I was pleased to be able to make a bit of history as the first ethnic minority to win a constituency seat to the Scottish Parliament. I won the election with a majority of 6,482 and it was the first time the SNP had won this seat that Labour had held since the advent of Devolution.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon appointed me to Government as her Transport Secretary in 2016. There were quite a few memorable moments (!) I don’t think I will ever forget the nights I spent in our Control Room during the Beast from the East in 2018 – I think my sleeping bag is still there!

In 2018 the First Minister promoted me to her Cabinet as her Justice Secretary. I am proud to serve as the first ethnic minority member of the Cabinet since Devolution began. Being Justice Secretary is an extremely rewarding but challenging role. From Prisons to Policing, from Courts to Community Payback Orders, there is a lot to keep me busy – and that was before the global pandemic hit us. Our response to Covid is what keeps me busy day and night, it is something I hope we never have to deal with again.

On a more personal level, I am married to the woman of my dreams (she told me to write that, but it just happens to be true!). Nadia and I have two children, Maya is my step-daughter and Amal was born in 2019, so it is fair to say we have our hands full. I love my family and my life revolves around them. I am a huge foodie and love to try new places to eat, I am a football fan, my playing days are very much over but that doesn’t stop me from shouting at the TV when my team (Celtic) are playing. Although I sold my motorcycle a number of years ago (a beautiful Yamaha Fazer 600) I still consider myself a biker, and I think it won’t be long until I buy a new one (hopefully my mum isn’t reading this).

Thank you for coming to my website, I hope this tells you a little more about who I am. I am really honoured to have been re-selected to stand as the SNP’s Candidate in Glasgow Pollok, if you are from the constituency and I can help in any way do not hesitate to contact me using the details on the website.

Yours for Scotland,

Humza

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