John Swinney voted in at Holyrood as Scotland’s next first minister

Mr Swinney won a vote of MSPs.

New first minister-elect John Swinney
New first minister-elect John Swinney (Andrew Milligan/PA)

New SNP leader John Swinney is to become Scotland’s next first minister after winning a vote at Holyrood.

Mr Swinney won the backing of 64 MSPs, with his nearest rival Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross picking up 31.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar secured 22 votes with the head of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Alex Cole-Hamilton, winning four.

The seven Scottish Green MSPs abstained.

It comes just eight days after predecessor Humza Yousaf announced he was stepping down, after his decision to terminate the powersharing agreement that the SNP had with the Scottish Greens at Holyrood left him facing a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

Mr Swinney with his predecessors in the role, Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon
Mr Swinney with his predecessors in the role, Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Yousaf formally tendered his resignation to the King earlier on Tuesday.

Mr Swinney said it is an “extraordinary privilege” to accept the office of First Minister.

In his acceptance speech, he also spoke about his wife’s multiple sclerosis and the impact it has had on his family.

He offered “eternal gratitude” to his wife Elizabeth for the “sacrifices she is prepared to make to enable her husband to serve our country as First Minister”.

The new SNP leader told the Scottish Parliament: “Members will know that my wife Elizabeth has multiple sclerosis (MS).

“She is indefatigable in trying to make sure that MS does not get in the way of her living life to the full. But much to her frustration, she does often have to rely on her husband for support and assistance.

“I could not just commit myself to become First Minister without being able to properly work out with my family how we would be able to manage as a family.”