John Swinney to be sworn in as Scotland’s First Minister

John Swinney will be sworn in as the new First Minister of Scotland on Wednesday and is expected to appoint his Cabinet on the same day.

The ceremony at the Court of Session in Edinburgh will involve the Perthshire North MSP making his statutory declarations, after which he will be granted his official title of First Minister and Keeper of the Scottish Seal.

He pledged to devote himself to the job after winning a Holyrood vote meaning he will become the seventh person to be first minister since the Scottish Parliament was established 25 years ago, following an unopposed selection process a week after predecessor Humza Yousaf resigned.

SNP leadership election
John Swinney with his wife Elizabeth Quigley on the steps of Bute House in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Swinney said it was an “extraordinary privilege” to become Scotland’s new first minister as he pledged to “give everything I have” to the role.

He shook hands with opposition leaders in the chamber at the Scottish Parliament after the vote.

Mr Swinney told the other parties at Holyrood: “If we want to fund our schools and hospitals, if we want to give our businesses a competitive edge, if we want to take climate action, if we want to eradicate child poverty, if we want to change people’s lives for the better, we have got to work together to do so.”

But he said he would “give all of my energy and my willingness” to achieve this, committing to be “the first minister for everyone in Scotland”.

He thanked his wife Elizabeth, who has multiple sclerosis, making clear his “profound eternal gratitude” to her for “the sacrifices she is prepared to make” so he could take on the job.

Later on Tuesday, the couple posed for photographs on the steps of Bute House in Edinburgh, the official residence of the first minister.