John Swinney sworn in as Scotland’s First Minister

John Swinney has been sworn in as the new First Minister of Scotland and is expected to appoint his Cabinet later.

The ceremony at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Wednesday morning saw Mr Swinney make his statutory declarations and be granted his official title of First Minister and Keeper of the Scottish Seal.

Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord President Lord Carloway, presided over the ceremony.

John Swinney
John Swinney, left, took the oath while his family watched on (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Lord President then addressed the court about the independence of the judiciary.

Mr Swinney’s family, including his wife Elizabeth, brother David and 13-year-old son Matthew, accompanied him to court.

SNP leadership election
John Swinney in the main chamber at Holyrood after being voted in as First Minister on Tuesday (Jane Barlow/PA)

Asked about former finance secretary Kate Forbes – who announced she would not run against him for the SNP leadership after a discussion with him – and whether she would have a role in his Cabinet, Mr Swinney said: “I’m a man of my word.”

The Perthshire North MSP had pledged to devote himself to the job after being voted into the role at Holyrood on Tuesday, and he becomes the seventh person to be First Minister since the Scottish Parliament was established 25 years ago. It came following an unopposed SNP selection process a week after predecessor Humza Yousaf resigned.

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

John Swinney and wife
John Swinney, with his wife Elizabeth Quigley, on the steps of Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister (Andrew Milligan/PA)

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 tackle 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.”

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

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