Who is new SNP leader Humza Yousaf's wife Nadia El-Nakla?

Who is Humza Yousaf’s wife Nadia El-Nakla? And do the couple have any children?

  • Humza Yousaf narrowly won SNP leadership battle to succeed Nicola Sturgeon
  •  READ MORE: Humza Yousaf narrowly wins SNP leadership battle despite campaign beset by gaffes and infighting

Humza Yousaf narrowly won the bitter five-week battle to succeed Nicola Sturgeon on March 27, 2023.

Mr Yousaf, 37, said he was the ‘luckiest man in the world’ as he was elected to take over as First Minister and in a speech at the count in Edinburgh, he entreated his colleagues to remember they are ‘one team’.

He pledged to govern for ‘all of Scotland’ – and also movingly reassured his daughters that there was still ‘no more important job in my life than being your dad’.

At his side at the Murrayfield Stadium was his second wife Nadia El-Nakla, their daughter Amal and his step-daughter.

But who is Nadia El-Nakla? Here FEMAIL takes a look at the woman who has supported Mr Yousaf throughout his campaign to become SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister…

Who is Nadia El-Nakla?

Humza Yousaf (pictured with his wife and their daughter) narrowly won the bitter five-week battle to succeed Nicola Sturgeon on March 27, 2023

Ms El-Nakla, 39, who has a Palestinian father, was born in Scotland. She married Mr Yousaf in 2019 and the couple live in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee. 

Who is new SNP leader Humza Yousaf? 

Humza Yousaf became Scotland’s first Muslim Cabinet minister in 2018, when he was appointed justice secretary.

The 37-year-old father has been MSP for Glasgow Pollok since 2016, having previously been elected to the Scottish Parliament as an additional member for the Glasgow region in 2011 at the age of just 26.

He has been serving as the Scottish Government’s health secretary, and was widely regarded as the ‘continuity’ candidate – although Nicola Sturgeon has refused to back anyone. 

Despite long being tipped as a possible replacement for Ms Sturgeon as First Minister, there were concerns Mr Yousaf’s chances could have been harmed by the current health crisis in Scotland.

He has come under particular pressure over long waiting times for ambulances and emergency care.

Leadership rival Kate Forbes was particularly scathing about his record in various government briefs during the TV debates. 

Mr Yousaf has a daughter and a stepchild with his second wife Nadia El-Nakla. 

They have one three-year-old daughter together, Amal. Ms El-Nakla also has a daughter from a previous marriage. 

In May 2022, the trained psychotherapist became an SNP councillor for the West End of Dundee.

After winning the council seat, she said, via The National: ‘I really want to take this time in the next five years to invest in women and get them into politics because in the Broughty Ferry ward I don’t think we’ve ever seen a female councillor in I don’t know how long.’

She has worked for Scottish Government minister Shona Robison and stood for the SNP in North East Scotland in the 2021 Holyrood election. However, she was unsuccessful.

The mother-of-two doesn’t have a large social media presence, however she does appear often on her husband’s Instagram account. 

Showing their fun side, the couple have also joined their daughters on an amusing TikTok video to launch Mr Yousaf’s profile.

Sharing it on Twitter in December 2020, he wrote: ‘So after telling me not to ruin TikTok for her, my step-daughter decided to direct our first bit of content. 

‘Bit of light-hearted fun – and don’t worry no dad dancing…!’ he concluded about the clip, which showed the family decide between different options as they were presented throughout the video. 

Why else has Ms El-Nakla been in the news? 

Details of Ms El-Nakla’s marriage breakdown to IT expert Fariad Umar were reportedly made public in a court case in 2018. 

She confessed to having an affair with a fellow SNP member who was accused of sending her racist texts, according to the Scottish Daily Express.

Meanwhile, in 2021 Mr Yousaf and his second wife launched a legal complaint against a nursery, accusing it of racial discrimination after it denied admission to their daughter.

Humza Yousaf with his wife Nadia El-Nakla, daughter Amal and step-daughter (left) at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on March 27, 2023

Ms El-Nakla (pictured with Mr Yousaf, left), 39, who has a Palestinian father, was born in Scotland. She married Mr Yousaf in 2019 and the couple live in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee

After being told there was no space for the couple’s daughter at Little Scholars in Broughty Ferry near Dundee, Ms El-Nakla and a friend put in fake applications for children with ‘white-sounding names’. 

While a watchdog told the nursery to change its procedures, Ms El-Nakla dropped her legal action against it. The nursery denied the accusations.

In August 2021, in a statement released through their solicitor, the couple said: ‘Despite being given ample opportunity, Little Scholars Day Nursery in Broughty Ferry have failed to admit, explain or apologise for their discriminatory behaviour.

‘We have both stood against hatred our whole lives, often being the targets of vile abuse. We will not accept our children being discriminated against by anyone.

‘Like any other parents we simply want our children to be treated equally, regardless of their colour of skin or religion.

In May 2022, the trained psychotherapist (pictured with her family) became an SNP councillor for the West End of Dundee

The mother-of-two doesn’t have a large social media presence, however she does appear often on her husband’s Instagram account (pictured)

Showing their fun side, the couple have also joined their daughters on an amusing TikTok video to launch Mr Yousaf’s profile

Humza Yousaf hugs his wife Nadia El-Nakla and daughter Amal at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on March 27, 2023

‘We strongly believe we have evidence of systemic discrimination being carried out by Little Scholars Day Nursery.

‘As passionate believers in the fairness of Scotland’s justice system, we have now instructed our solicitor Aamer Anwar to initiate court proceedings and are determined to fight for justice for our daughter.’

A spokesperson for the nursery told the Daily Record at the time: ‘Our nursery is extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all and any claim to the contrary is demonstrably false and an accusation that we would refute in the strongest possible terms.’

The spokesperson added: ‘In addition to our owners being of Asian heritage, across more than a decade we have regularly welcomed both children and staff from a range of different religious, cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds including two Muslim families currently.

‘We have also regularly made arrangements to accommodate different lifestyles by, for example, providing a halal menu for those children who come from Muslim families.’

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