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Humza Haroon Yousaf MSP (born 7 April 1985) is a Scottish National Party politician who has been Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 26 June 2018 and the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Pollok since 2016. Yousaf was previously an MSP for the Glasgow region from 2011 to 2016. He served as Minister for External Affairs and International Development from 2012 until 2014 and as Minister for Europe and International Development from 2014 until 2016. He was Minister for Transport and the Islands from 2016 until 2018.

Humza Yousaf

Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Assumed office
26 June 2018
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byMichael Matheson
Minister for Transport and the Islands
In office
18 May 2016 – 26 June 2018
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byDerek Mackay
Succeeded byPaul Wheelhouse
Minister for Europe and Development[1]
In office
6 September 2012 – 18 May 2016
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAlasdair Allan
Parliamentary Liaison Officer
to the First Minister of Scotland
In office
May 2011 – September 2012
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Preceded byAileen Campbell
Succeeded byMark McDonald
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow Pollok
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byJohann Lamont
Majority6,482 (23.2%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
6 May 2011 – 6 May 2016
Personal details
Humza Haroon Yousaf

(1985-04-07) 7 April 1985 (age 34)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
ProfessionCommunity worker

Humza was the first ethnic minority to win a Constituency Seat in the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

He was the first non-White and first Muslim member of the Scottish Government when he was appointed a Minister in 2012. At age 27 he was also the youngest Minister ever appointed to the Scottish Government.

He became Scotland's first ethnic minority and first Muslim Cabinet Minister when appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Justice in 2018. He is also the youngest person to ever hold a Cabinet position in the Scottish Government, he was appointed aged 33.

Early life and educationEdit

Yousaf is the son of immigrants who arrived in the UK during the 1960s: his mother came from Kenya and his father from Pakistan. Yousaf was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow.[2] He studied Politics at the University of Glasgow, graduating with an MA in 2007.[3] Whilst at University, Yousaf was President of the Glasgow University Muslim Students Association (GUMSA) as well as a prominent figure involved in student politics in the Students' representative council.

From an early age, Yousaf was involved in community work, ranging from youth organisations to charity fundraising.[4] He was the volunteer media spokesperson for the charity Islamic Relief,[4] worked for community radio for twelve years and on a project which provided food packages to homeless people 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.[5] 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 the-then First Minister.[6][7] In 2008, whilst working as an aide, Yousaf took part in the IVLP programme, an exchange that is run by the US State Department.[8] 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.[9]

Scottish ParliamentEdit

In May 2011, he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a regional member for Glasgow.[10] At just 25 years of age, he was the youngest MSP to be elected to the Scottish Parliament.[11] When being sworn in, he took his oath in English then Urdu reflecting his Scottish-Pakistani identity;[12] he was dressed in a traditional sherwani decorated with a Partick Thistle tartan touch and a plaid draped over his shoulder.[13] 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.[14]

Junior ministerEdit

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.[15] 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.[16][17] 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.[18] On 18 May 2016 he was moved to the position of Minister for Transport and the Islands in a reshuffle.[19] On 26 June 2018 he was moved to the position of Justice Secretary to the Cabinet[20]

For Lent in 2018, Yousaf gave up Irn-Bru and dedicated the money he would have spent on the beverage to Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic organisation that helps persecuted Christian minorities.[21]


Yousaf is a columnist for the Evening Times.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ External Affairs and Development (2012-14)
  2. ^ "FPs Humza Yousaf and John Mason elected as MSPs". Hutchesons' Grammar School. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Alumni: Our alumni: Life after Glasgow: Notable alumni". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b Allan, Vicky (13 January 2013). "Exclusive: SNP aims to make independent Scotland a world leader in aid". The Herald. Newsquest. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  5. ^ Robertson, Alan (18 December 2012). "Home and away: Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf". Hoyrood magazine. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  6. ^ "MSPs: Current MSPs: Humza Yousaf: Personal Information". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  7. ^ Paterson, Stewart (16 November 2012). "Nicola Sturgeon named Scotland's top politician ... again". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Current MSPS: HumzaYousef: Register of Interests". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Award Winners 2009". 14 December 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Vote 2011: Scotland elections: Regions: Glasgow results". BBC News. BBC. 8 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Stars who have risen and fallen". The Herald. Newsquest. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  12. ^ "MSPs to take oaths in six languages". STV News. STV Group. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  13. ^ Paterson, Stewart (12 May 2011). "Glasgow's magnificent seven sworn in as MSPs". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "Who is in the Scottish cabinet?". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Democracy live: Ministerial appointments debate". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Building links with Pakistan" (Press release). Scottish Government. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 21 November 2014.
  19. ^ "New Islands minister appointed". The Orcadian. 19 May 2016. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Scottish Government Cabinet Reshuffle: Who's in and Who's out?". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing Ltd. 26 June 2018.
  21. ^ Connelly, Amanda (23 February 2018). "Muslim minister's Lent support for Catholic aid charity". Scottish Catholic Observer. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Humza Yousaf: Columnist". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 7 December 2016.

External linksEdit