NFU Scotland says political instability caused by Humza Yousaf’s resignation must not ‘derail’ agri legislation which will shape the ability of farmers and crofters to feed the nation.

Mr Yousaf announced his decision to step down from the role of First Minister in an emotional speech to a packed audience at the Bute House.

The decision comes ahead of two confidence votes at Holyrood, which Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems had already indicated they would not back him.

READ MORE | Humza Yousaf in tears as he announces his resignation

He said he had ‘underestimated’ the level of hurt his decision to end the Bute House Agreement with the Greens had caused and said it was the ‘right decision’.

Commenting on the move, NFUS president Martin Kennedy said: “We thank the First Minister for his service and for having had the opportunity to meet with him several times since being elected, including his address to our national conference and AGM in Glasgow in February.

“While Scottish politics is in a period of turmoil, and the potential of confidence votes in Holyrood later this week, I can reassure Scotland’s farmers and crofters that we will remain resolutely focussed on lobbying all political parties in the very best interests of Scottish food and farming.

“Regardless of what emerges in the coming days and weeks, there is legislation already making its way through the Scottish Parliament that is fundamental to delivering a sustainable and profitable future for Scottish farmers and crofters and any political instability right now must not derail or delay its passage.

“Political machinations will not detract from our intention to secure the very best deal for our members.

“The Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill, the Land Reform Bill, and more will bring forward legislation that will, for many years to come, shape our ability to feed the nation whilst delivering our obligations around tackling climate change and enhancing nature.

“Specifically on the Agriculture Bill, it is imperative that the route map towards a new agricultural support framework must stay firmly on track.”

Mr Yousaf spent just 13 months after becoming First Minister.

Tory leader Douglas Ross said the next First Minister must ‘abandon the nationalist obsession with independence and focus solely on Scotland’s top priorities’.