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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Scottish Minister abused while selling the Big Issue

March 12 2014
Humza Yousef pays tribute to vendors who regularly have to deal with insults

A Scottish Government Minister, who agreed to sell the Big Issue as part of a profile-raising event, has spoken out after he was racially abused on the streets of Glasgow.

Humza Yousef, Scotland's Minister for International Relations and External Affairs, was selling the magazine as part of the Big Sell Off, a promotion organised by the International Network of Street Papers to celebrate National Vendor Week.

The minister was being filmed selling the mags in the city centre when a shaven-headed man heckled him and then told him he wouldn't buy magazines from him because he was “not from my country”.

Mr Yousef, who was born in Scotland and is the son of migrants who moved to the country in the Sixties.

He kept his cool but admitted he was angered by the incident. Writing in the Big Issue later, he paid tribute to the magazine's vendors who deal regularly with abuse. He said: "I have had many an insult thrown at me during my life but by far the worst insult is being told to ‘go home’ when you were born and raised in this country.”