Scottish government to face Holyrood vote of no confidence

A motion of no confidence in the Scottish government is due to be debated later on Wednesday.

Scottish Labour is pressing ahead with its motion despite Humza Yousaf announcing earlier this week his intention to stand down as SNP leader and first minister.

If the motion passes, all ministers in the minority SNP government will be forced to quit.

The Scottish parliament will then have 28 days to appoint a new first minister, failing which, a snap election would be called.

Despite having the backing of the Scottish Tories and Liberal Democrats, it is not expected to pass as it does not have the support of the Scottish Greens.

The debate and vote comes following the breakdown of the Bute House Agreement.

Within hours of the powersharing deal with the Scottish Greens coming to an end last week, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross announced he would be bringing a motion of no confidence in the first minister.

Angry over the way the party was dumped from government, the Scottish Greens announced its MSPs would be backing the motion.

Scottish Labour then announced it was planning a motion of no confidence in the Scottish government.

All eyes were on Alba Party MSP Ash Regan, whose vote could potentially have played a key role in Mr Yousaf's future.

Mr Yousaf reached out to his political opponents in an effort to stem the uprising but conceded that he had "underestimated the level of hurt and upset" his actions had caused Scottish Green colleagues.

Announcing his resignation on Monday, he said: "For a minority government to be able to govern effectively and efficiently, trust, when working with the opposition, is clearly fundamental.

"And while a route through this week's motion of no confidence was absolutely possible, I am not willing to trade my values and principles - or do deals with whomever - simply for retaining power."

On Tuesday morning, Mr Ross announced his party would no longer press ahead with the motion of no confidence in Mr Yousaf given his resignation.

However, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said his party would press on with its motion as he branded the SNP a "dysfunctional, chaotic, divided political party".

Mr Sarwar believes the decision on Scotland's new political leader should be put to the public.

Read more:
Who could replace Humza Yousaf?
What happens now following his resignation
SNP stands at a crossroads - what direction will party take?

The search is currently on to find a new leader for the SNP and Scotland.

Mr Yousaf intends to remain in post until his successor is announced.

👉 Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts 👈

The SNP is now accepting nominations, which will close at noon on Monday 6 May.

Prospective candidates will have to gain the support of 100 members from 20 different SNP branches to qualify for the contest.

John Swinney has already said he is giving "very careful consideration" to the prospect of throwing his hat into the ring.

The former deputy first minister, and a close ally of Nicola Sturgeon, has already garnered support from senior figures within his party.

Mr Swinney said he was considering all issues and would have more to say "in the next few days".

Former finance secretary Kate Forbes, who narrowly failed to beat Mr Yousaf in last year's leadership election to replace then first minister Ms Sturgeon, is also considering running.

She told Sky News: "I am not ruling myself out. I am still considering all the options, but I also know that there is a lot of support for me across the country and across the party, and last year proved that.

"What's key now is to think about what the next few months hold, and to ensure that the party is able to move forward, to fight that election and to ensure we have the trust of the people."