John Swinney Has Been Confirmed As The SNP's New Leader

The former deputy first minister was crowned without a contest.
John Swinney announcing his intention to stand as SNP leader last week.
John Swinney announcing his intention to stand as SNP leader last week.
Jane Barlow - PA Images via Getty Images

John Swinney has been confirmed as the SNP’s new leader.

Scotland’s former deputy first minister was appointed without a contest after no one else chose to stand against him.

He said: “I am deeply honoured to have been elected as leader of the SNP. I will give all that I have to serve my party and my country.”

Swinney, 60, succeeds Humza Yousaf, who resigned after barely a year in the job as he was set to lose a vote of no confidence in him.

The veteran nationalist will also be confirmed as the new Scottish first minister later this week.

His main task will be to turn around the SNP’s fortunes as the party appears to be on course to lose a swathe of seats to Labour at the upcoming general election.

A poll published by the Sunday Times yesterday showed the SNP could see its number of MPs reduced from 43 to just 15.

Swinney will also have to navigate getting key legislation, and a budget, through the Scottish Parliament even though the SNP does not have a majority.

Humza Yousaf initially continued the Bute House Agreement, the coalition deal Nicola Sturgeon struck with the Scottish Greens when she was first minister.

But he dumped them from the Scottish government two weeks ago in a move which ultimately led to his departure from office.

Swinney has signalled that he will not seek to resurrect the agreement, and will instead seek the support of opposition parties on a case-by-case basis.


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