John Swinney Confirmed as New SNP Leader

As this publication reported on April 29th, 2024, Scottish First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Yousaf resigned before a no-confidence vote could be leveled against him.

Timeline of Succession 

On that same day, SNP MP Stephen Flynne ruled himself out of contest for the First Ministership while Scottish MSP Forbes announced that she was considering a bid for the role. However, Scottish Education Secretary Gilruth immediately came out and backed John Swinney, effectively dousing former bids within the party.

By 0530 EST on May 2nd, 2024, Scottish MP Swinney confirmed he was running for the First Minister position and as SNP leader. However, the SNP did not confirm until this morning that he was elected by his party members.

Who is Swinney?

John Ramsay Swinney is a Scottish politician who has served in several senior positions in the Scottish government and the SNP since 1986.

He served as the National Secretary from 1986 to 1992 and Deputy Leader of the SNP from 1998 to 2000 and as the Leader of SNP from 2000 to 2004. From 2004 to 2007, Swinney sat in the SNP’s opposition backbench. After  Sturgeon succeeded Salmond, she appointed Swinney as Deputy First Minister of Scotland in 2014. He also served as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy.

He was then appointed Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in 2016, and then as Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery in 2021. On 25 May 2022, Swinney became the longest serving Deputy First Minister. Swinney served as Acting Finance and Economy Secretary in addition to his position of Covid Recovery Secretary from July 2022 to March 2023.

In March 2023, Swinney announced his resignation as Deputy First Minister in response to Sturgeon’s resignation as First Minister. During Yousaf’s First Ministership, Swinney remained in the backbenches, relatively out of the spotlight.

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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