Humza Yousaf hopes coronation spending can be ‘kept to a minimum’
Humza Yousaf has said he hopes spending on the King’s coronation can be kept to a minimum, as he vowed to represent all Scots at the “historic” event.
While the SNP leader believes an independent Scotland should be a republic rather than a kingdom, Mr Yousaf said it is his duty as First Minister to represent those who think otherwise.
He will be pledging the oath to the King during the ceremony, as he and his wife Nadia El-Nakla travel to Westminster Abbey.
Mr Yousaf will be wearing a kilt and a designer jacket at the coronation, reflecting his Scottish and Pakistani heritage.
He told the PA news agency: “It’s a historic moment. I think we can all recognise that.”
Reflecting on his own views on the monarchy, Mr Yousaf said: “It’s no great surprise what my views are.
“But also I’ve said very clearly, the job of First Minister is to represent everybody in Scotland – the office of First Minister requires that.”
Some predictions suggest Operation Golden Orb – the crowning of Charles and the Queen Consort – could cost the UK between £50 million to £100 million.
Asked about the spending on the event, the First Minister said: “The fact that we do have a monarchy means that there’s got to be a coronation, there’s going to be money spent on it.
“I hope that money really gets kept to a minimum.
“My focus up here in Scotland is making sure every penny we spend in the Scottish Government is focused towards reducing poverty.”
A number of events will be taking place in Scotland over the weekend for those who wish to follow the coronation, though Mr Yousaf added “there’ll be people there who won’t be watching at all”.
The transition from a kingdom to a republic would not be an “immediate” priority for an independent Scotland, he said, though the SNP would first have to discuss the issue within the party.
Mr Yousaf said: “We’ve got a number of other issues, as you have reported on well, over the last few weeks that the SNP has to confront, so I’m sure it’ll happen in time.
“But the immediate focus for the SNP is to make sure that we get our governance and transparency review not just under way – which it is – but making progress.”