Ex-Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil has claimed Humza Yousaf deliberately missed a key vote on gay marriage in 2014 because he “was under so much pressure from the mosque”. Speaking yesterday, Neil even alleged that then-First Minister Alex Salmond reorganised government business to give Yousaf an “excuse” to conveniently miss the vote:
“I was the cabinet minister who took the equal marriage Bill through the parliament for the government and three weeks before the vote, which was a free vote, unlike the GRR [Gender Recognition Reform]… Humza went to Alex Salmond as the First Minister and asked for permission to skip the vote because, quote, ‘he was under so much pressure from the mosque’, end quote.
So Alex agreed and allowed him to go and organise a ministerial meeting which wasn’t actually organised until 19 days later I think […] which was his excuse for missing the vote.”
Yousaf is already pushing back, claiming “I was proud to vote in favour of the Equal Marriage Bill in Scotland’s Parliament”. Either way, Yousaf’s still the clear frontrunner in the race – nominations close later today…