Alex Salmond's party names price to save Humza Yousaf in crunch confidence vote

Ash Regan
Ash Regan -Credit:Ken Jack/Getty Images

A kingmaker MSP who could keep Humza Yousaf in post has linked support for the First Minister to a new bill on independence.

Ash Regan’s conditions for siding with Yousaf in a motion of no confidence also include backing for women’s rights in the ongoing row over trans people.

Yousaf is fighting for his political life after he kicked the Greens out of Government.

Opposition parties, including the Greens, are supporting a confidence vote in him and the numbers are tight.

He could cling on if Regan, who quit the SNP for Alex Salmond’s pro-independence Alba, voted with him next week.

She has plans for a bill on a referendum which would ask Scots whether the powers of the Parliament should be extended to include the right to negotiate independence.

In a letter to Yousaf, she wrote: “The Bute House Agreement is over. Scotland deserves and demands a reset. I am open to talking to anyone across this chamber who will prioritise progress on what we were elected to deliver for our constituents and Scotland.

“Independence for Scotland, protecting the dignity, safety and rights of women and children, and providing a competent government for our people and businesses across Scotland remain my priorities.”

Regan quit as an SNP Minister in protest over plans to make it easier for trans people to change gender.

Her reference to “children” may also be linked to the Cass report which criticises the evidence base for puberty blockers for young trans people.

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