Humza Yousaf in shock as first new SNP leader’s FMQ disrupted by protesters

Protesters disrupted Humza Yousaf’s first First Minister’s Questions session at Holyrood.

The weekly grilling session, in which the Scottish First Minister is grilled by MSPs including Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and Labour’s Anas Sarwar, has been suspended five times due to protests in the public gallery by climate change activists.

It was Mr Yousaf’s first FMQs since being confirmed as Nicola Sturgeon’s replacement on Monday.

However, the proceedings devolved into chaos with multiple interruptions before Mr Ross’s questioning of the new SNP leader concluded.

The first protest occurred shortly after FMQs began, before the Scottish Tory had a chance to ask a question.

After the fifth interruption, Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone ordered the public gallery to be cleared.

Ms Johnstone said: “Regrettably we are going to have to clear the gallery. I am very, very sorry. We require to clear the gallery at this point.”

The Presiding Officer spoke of her “deep regret” at having to take such action.

She said: “Far too regularly, disruption is causing members to lose the opportunity to ask questions.”

Mr Yousaf told the Presiding Officer he agreed with the action taken, adding he was “delighted” the school children had been permitted to remain.

He said: “Can I commend the young people for behaving much better than some of the adults that were in the public gallery.”

Mr Ross blasted the protesters, saying: “This shower have been doing this week after week, and the image of genuine constituents being forced out of our Parliament is one we will all regret and one none of us want to see repeated.”

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He said he was grateful that school children had been permitted to remain, but added: “We must do something to stop this going forward.”

During the FMQs session, Mr Ross hit out at Mr Yousaf for appointing a minister for independence.

He said: “It’s the same old from the SNP, another nationalist leader, when Scotland needs a national leader.”

But Mr Yousaf said he made “no apology” for creating the new position