HUMZA Yousaf is officially marking one year since he became SNP leader – and a row has broken out about his record.

The First Minister, who will mark his official anniversary as the head of the Scottish Government on Friday, was praised by his depute in the SNP for being “the leader Scotland needs”.

Keith Brown said: “Where we see other party leaders hiding when things get tough, the First Minister has stood up with courage and integrity when it has mattered most – not least in leading calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“That’s the leadership Scotland needs and that is the leadership we see in Humza Yousaf.

“And together, we will achieve the future that Scotland needs as an independent country.”

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However, Unionist parties have leapt on the opportunity to decry Yousaf.

Scottish Labour group leader Anas Sarwar pointed to the loss of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election and the defection of two elected members – Ash Regan MSP to the Alba Party and MP Lisa Cameron to the Conservatives – as well as MP Angus MacNeil leaving the party.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross highlighted more than 100 instances of what he claimed were failures during Yousaf’s time in office, including missing A&E waiting times targets, the publication of new independence white papers, and the country’s economy.

Sarwar said: “After a year in post, it is clear to see that Humza Yousaf is a weak leader who is out of his depth and leading a chaotic and divided Government that is not delivering for Scotland.

“Every sector of our public services is now weaker thanks to Humza Yousaf’s SNP.”

The National: File photograph of First Minister Humza Yousaf

Ross said: “Humza Yousaf’s first year as SNP leader has been nothing short of a disaster for him, his party and – most importantly – the people of Scotland.

“It’s a tale of independence obsession, abject failures and broken promises; of a First Minister out of his depth and unable to control his feuding, scandal-ridden party.”

A spokesperson for the First Minister dismissed the criticism, saying it was the opposition parties’ job to oppose, “and the job given to them by the electorate for the past 17 years and counting”.

They went on: “The most recent polling evidence is that the SNP remains ahead of the opposition on who people trust on health, education, the economy, and cost of living.

“The First Minister is governing on the basis of clear values – prioritising investment in public services, helping people with the cost-of-living crisis by freezing Council Tax, supporting business opportunities in Scotland, and showing leadership on major issues, such as consistently calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.”

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Brown listed similar achievements from Yousaf, saying he demonstrated “leadership – and policy decisions – based on clear values”.

He went on: “Humza Yousaf's leadership is in stark contrast to the Westminster parties and their Scottish branch offices.

"Where we see other party leaders are abandoning their principles, Humza's values are in tune with people in Scotland.

"He stands up for Scotland and champions Scottish interests every day in the job.”

Yousaf was elected as leader of the SNP on March 27, 2023, narrowly beating Kate Forbes in the second round of voting.

He was sworn in as First Minister two days later, officially replacing Nicola Sturgeon.

On Tuesday, Yousaf spoke about how he has learned to set boundaries between work and family time during his first year as First Minister, saying it is important for mental health.

The First Minister spoke to journalists at a visit to Edinburgh Community Performing Arts’ re-connect, a project which supports those aged 65 and over with conditions including dementia and Parkinson’s.

He said: “It continues to be the greatest honour of my life, being the First Minister of the country that I’ve been born and raised in, the country I love the country and the country I’m raising my children in.”

He said his Government had achieved “a lot” on reducing poverty and increasing foreign investment, but recognised “there’s still a lot more to do to deliver for the people of Scotland”.