Nicola Sturgeon set to become First Minister

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NICOLA STURGEON will be appointed as Scotland’s first female First Minister when MSPs vote at Holyrood today.

Ms Sturgeon replaces Alex Salmond, who resigned from the role yesterday with a final statement to the Scottish Parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon will replace Alex Salmond, who resigned from the role yesterday with a final statement to the Scottish Parliament. Picture: hemedia

Nicola Sturgeon will replace Alex Salmond, who resigned from the role yesterday with a final statement to the Scottish Parliament. Picture: hemedia

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During his contribution, Mr Salmond told the chamber that Ms Sturgeon, who has served as his deputy for seven years, will make an “outstanding” First Minister.

He announced his intention to quit as SNP leader and First Minister within hours of defeat in the independence referendum in September.

Ms Sturgeon, 44, took the helm as leader of the party at its conference in Perth at the weekend, with her takeover at the head of Government due to be officially completed on Thursday.

Speaking at the conference, she said: “It is a privilege and I thank you for the trust you have placed in me.”

While she said the UK’s first female prime minister Margaret Thatcher had “divided society”, she said she wanted to do the opposite.

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“I want to unite this country in a national endeavour to give every child - no matter their background - the best opportunity in life,” she told the conference.

In his farewell at Holyrood, Mr Salmond, who turns 60 at the end of the year, said: “Any parting is tinged with some sorrow, but in this case it is vastly outweighed by a sense of optimism and confidence. Confidence that we will have an outstanding new First Minister. Confidence in the standing and the capability of this chamber, and most of all confidence in the wisdom, talent and potential of the people of Scotland.”

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MSPs will take part in a voting process to select Ms Sturgeon today, and she will be officially sworn in at the Court of Session in Edinburgh tomorrow.

Mr Salmond has already written to the Queen, signalling his intention to resign effective from the start of Holyrood’s business today.

He remains the MSP for the Aberdeenshire East constituency.

Google Hangout: live discussion on Alex Salmond’s legacy

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