Scottish Parliamentary Building, Edinburgh

SNP leader chosen

The Scottish National Party has announced it has appointed its new leader, following Humza Yousaf’s resignation last week.

John Swinney has taken on the role without a contest and looks set to be confirmed as the next First Minister of Scotland. This is the second time that Swinney has led the SNP, coming 20 years after he resigned after a series of setbacks, however this time he is hopeful that his tenure is to be success.

As the only candidate standing for leadership of the party, Swinney believes that this represents the party uniting. Touching on this in his acceptance speech, he said:

“I know there is controversy for some that I am the only candidate to stand for leadership. Perhaps not surprisingly, I take a different view. For me, the fact that I am the only candidate demonstrates the Scottish National Party is now coming back together again”

Humza Yousaf’s resignation came after the ending of the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Green Party, led to a divide within the government. The aftermath has left the SNP leading Scotland with a minority administration, which will mean that Swinney won’t just have to get his own party members on side, any legislation will also have to receive the backing of the other parties to get over the line.

SNP leader quote

In his acceptance speech, the new leader also went on to talk about his vision for the future, saying:

“Of course I believe that this country could do more if we had the powers of a normal independent nation – the powers of independence. The cost of living crisis and the damaging impact of Brexit are two examples of Westminster decisions that are bad for Scotland. They demonstrate why Scotland needs to have independence to make our own decisions and create our best future.

“I will always seek, with respect and courtesy, to persuade people of the case for independence.

“All I ask of those who oppose that vision is they also act with the same courtesy and respect..

“If elected First Minister, my focus will be the economy, jobs, the cost of living. It will be the NHS, our schools, and our public services. It will be addressing the climate crisis.”

Whilst Swinney is expected to become the new First Minister, this will require MSPs to approve of the decision, something which is set to happen this week – and could come as early as tomorrow.


Image credit: iStock


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