In his latest column for the Times, West Scotland Labour MSP Neil Bibby gives his thoughts on the election of Humza Yousaf as Scotland's new First Minister.

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Scotland has a new First Minister, but it doesn’t have a new government.

Instead, here in North Ayrshire and across Scotland people are left with the same tired, divided and out of ideas administration that has been in power too long for their own good.

After a bitterly divided leadership contest that exposed the SNP as being anything but a progressive party, Scotland’s new First Minister is a stellar example of someone who has mastered the art of failing upwards.

In all of his previous roles, he has left things in a worse state than when he found them – trains not running on time, the police stretched to breaking point and record high wait times in our NHS.

And Humza Yousaf has no mandate to lead our country.

When people voted in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, they were asked to vote SNP with the promise on the ballot paper that it would mean “Nicola Sturgeon for First Minister”.

That’s not an option any more and Humza Yousaf should really be going to the country so that the people can have their say on where we go next.

I know from speaking to people all across the west of Scotland that they are hungry for change. They are hopeful that things can be better, but they know that isn’t on offer with the self-styled continuity team of ministers now governing Scotland.

Scottish Labour recognises the big challenges facing our country and knows that across Scotland, talent and ambition are going unrealised.

We, just like the people of this country, are determined to do things differently.

Scotland needs fresh ideas and to the turn page on 16 years of a government that has ultimately failed, not least in their own defining ambition of delivering independence.

Standing at the crossroads we have arrived at, there is an opportunity to do something different as well as something better.

Labour have set out our five key missions going forward. These missions represent our ambition for Scotland and how we plan to turn things around for working people here in North Ayrshire.

Locally, the Universal Credit claimant count is about 4.6 per cent of the population – higher than the Scottish and UK average. That’s why our first national mission is to secure the highest sustained economic growth anywhere in the G7, so that we can create good, secure employment in places like North Ayrshire.

We will take on the cost of living crisis and delivery a bold new energy plan that will make Britain a clean energy superpower with the creation of publicly own GB Energy. This will allow us to bring bills down by £1,400 and help us meet our climate change targets.

We will save our NHS with the funds and staffing it needs, but also with reform to utilise technology to speed up treatment. People shouldn’t have to wait months for the care they need.

We will make our streets safe with reforms to policing and action to tackle violence against women and girls.

And finally, at every stage, we will break down the barriers to opportunity and give our young people a world-class education.

Labour offers the change we need. The people of Scotland won’t accept more of the same – and neither will we.