HUMZA Yousaf has congratulated the first woman of colour ever to lead a council group in Edinburgh. 

Simita Kumar, who serves as an SNP councillor for the Southside/Newington ward in Edinburgh City Council, was appointed leader of the SNP group after former council leader Adam Nols-McVey stood down. 

She defeated fellow councillor Lesley Macinnes following an internal vote on Tuesday evening. 

Kumar now becomes the first person from a minority ethnic background to lead any council group in Edinburgh, as well as Edinburgh SNP's first female leader. 

Speaking after the vote, Kumar said: “It is an immense privilege and honour to earn the trust and confidence of my SNP colleagues as I assume the leadership of the largest party in the City of Edinburgh Council.

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“I’m deeply grateful to have the opportunity to build upon a strong foundation laid by Cllr Nols-McVey and I extend my sincere appreciation for his dedicated service - not only to our group but for all Edinburgh residents.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Cllr Macinnes who is a friend and valued colleague and I look forward to working with her to take our team from strength to strength.

“I am fully committed to deliver the best possible outcomes for Edinburgh residents against the backdrop of a Unionist administration of Labour, Tories and Liberal Democrats.

"The lack of leadership and strategic vision from Labour councillors is very concerning and the SNP group will hold this administration to account. However, I am also determined to work collegiately across all political parties on issues where our values and policies align.

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“Today also marks a significant milestone toward equalities in our city, and I am humbled to be the first woman to lead the SNP group and the first person of colour to lead any group in Edinburgh. 

"I hope to inspire and pave the way for more diverse voices in our political landscape.”

She becomes leader of the City Chambers' largest political group and the first ever person from a minority ethnic background to lead any council group, as well as Edinburgh SNP's first female leader. 

The First Minister took to social media to congratulate Kumar following the vote. 

He said: "Well done @SimitaSKumar - proud of you for making history as the first female from an ethnic minority background to lead a Council group. My thanks to @adamnolsmcvey  for his stewardship of our Edinburgh SNP Council group for so many years." 

Kumar responded: "Thank you Humza - and for showcasing what dignified grace and humility looks like".