THE saying goes that a week is a long time in politics, and this past week has certainly seen a lot of change within the Scottish Government and parliament.

I think everyone would agree that the job of First Minister is never an easy one – and considering the situation that Humza Yousaf found himself in, with the various issues that arose during his tenure, I admired him deeply for how he always led from the front.

From the get-go, his leadership was rooted in the principles of equality, opportunity and community. He commanded respect from people across the globe for his position on the conflict in Gaza, and I was grateful to be led by a party leader who spoke with such passion and conviction even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Humza’s achievements also include tripling the Fuel Insecurity Fund to £30 million; securing a fully funded council tax freeze for the people of Scotland; presiding over a record number of affordable housing completions, and record high investment in our NHS, which has resulted in Scotland being the only part of the UK not to be plagued with NHS strikes.

I wish Humza all the best as he returns to the backbenches, and trust that the party will find a new leader who can lead us on the next part of our journey towards independence.

Next, I want to highlight the launch of a public consultation on replacing the UK Government’s Industrial Injuries Scheme in Scotland, seeking views on how the Scottish Government’s planned Employment Injury Assistance should be delivered.

The consultation is the first step in considering how the replacement benefit can better meet the needs of the modern workforce and be more reflective of occupational health and employment.

I welcome this consultation as the Industrial Injuries Scheme was introduced in 1948, so no longer accounts for many of the injuries and diseases common in the modern workforce. This is especially true for women, young people, and people from an ethnic minority group.

The Scottish Government want to hear a broad range of views on this topic, so I would encourage individuals and stakeholders to respond to the consultation, which can be found at

Finally, I want to welcome efforts to boost affordable housing supply by enabling local councils and housing association to acquire properties to bring into use and help reduce homelessness – as the Scottish Government will be providing an £80 million uplift over the next two years.

This investment will build on the success of our National Acquisition Programme, which spent more than £60 million and delivered more than 1,000 affordable homes. This is one of several actions the Scottish Government are prioritising to help to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation.