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Scotland’s leader resigns as he struggles to win support for weakened government

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London, Apr 29 (AP) Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, has resigned rather than face a no-confidence vote just days after he torpedoed a coalition with the Green Party by ditching a target for fighting climate change.

Yousaf, whose Scottish National Party has been weakened by a campaign finance scandal and divisions over transgender rights, stepped down after failing to strike a deal with a breakaway nationalist party whose single seat could have given him a majority in Scotland’s devolved regional parliament.

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With no prospect of victory, Yousaf on Monday quit rather than face defeat later this week when Scottish lawmakers were scheduled to vote on motions of no confidence in Yousaf and his government.

The debacle in Scotland adds to the fevered political climate in the broader United Kingdom, where concerns about immigration, health care and government spending have undermined support for the ruling Conservative Party.

The crisis began earlier this month when Yousaf jettisoned Scotland’s goal of cutting carbon emissions by 75% by 2030, then ended a coalition agreement with the Greens and unceremoniously kicked the party’s two representatives out of his Cabinet.

“Hurt egos have destroyed countries before now, so it’s not exactly surprising that they are currently leading to the mess we’re in,” Murray Pittock, an expert on Scottish nationalism at the University of Glasgow, told The Associated Press. “And you can’t hurt people’s egos any more than by chucking them straight out of ministerial office with no warning and their entire party with them.”

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The debacle in Scotland adds to the fevered political climate in the broader United Kingdom, where concerns about immigration, health care and government spending have undermined support for the ruling Conservative Party. (AP)

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