Scottish politics RECAP: Humza Yousaf formally resigns | John Swinney elected Scotland's new first minister

Mr Swinney won the vote in Holyrood a day after becoming new SNP leader

Catch up on what happened as John Swinney was elected the new First Minister of Scotland.

Scotland News Live: Keep up with news from across the country

There is a lot of speculation Kate Forbes will be made deputy first minister and finance secretary in John Swinney’s cabinet, after she agreed not to stand against him to be SNP leader and First Minister.

However it is interesting to note she was not the one standing behind him when he spoke to the media after being elected First Minister - flanking John Swinney was Economy Secretary Màiri McAllan (who also introduced him when he made his leadership launch speech on Thursday) and Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.

That could mean absolutely nothing - but it is interesting to note nonetheless.

The British Medical Association says John Swinney must make the NHS his top priority as First Minister.

Posting on X, it said: “Congratulations to John Swinney as he becomes the new First Minister for Scotland.

“We urge him to put the NHS at the very top of his priorities and address issues such as the ongoing workforce crisis, which must include valuing doctors through urgent negotiations on pay.”

The congratulations will continue to pour in for the rest of the day for John Swinney.

UK Hospitality Scotland is now urging him to “start afresh” with businesses who have not been listened to in recent years.

Leon Thompson, executive director of UK Hospitality Scotland, said: “I’d like to congratulate John Swinney on being appointed as First Minister and I look forward to working with him and his government.

“I hope the First Minister takes advantage of this moment to start afresh with businesses, who feel they have not been listened to or properly valued in recent years.

“The Scottish Government has at its disposal a hospitality and tourism sector that is an economic giant and a valuable partner in showcasing Scotland around the world.

“Not only is our sector integral to our culture and communities, but we’re one of the key reasons why tourists choose Scotland to visit.

“This is not a reputation the sector takes lightly, and our businesses want to invest and grow to further enhance our offering, create more jobs and drive economic growth.

“Unfortunately, that investment is curtailed by an ongoing costs crisis and a lack of support, compared to the rest of the UK.

“In the recommendations from the new deal for business, the Scottish Government has a series of measures it can drive forward to create a better, business-friendly environment for businesses, with less burdensome regulation.

“Starting with business rates reform for hospitality businesses would clearly demonstrate this new government’s pro-business credentials.

“Implementing these recommendations, while also avoiding unnecessary, burdensome regulation, can unlock the investment needed to turbocharge Scottish hospitality, to the benefit of the Scottish people, businesses and economy.

“I would urge the First Minister to move forward with these at pace.”

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, who has stood against John Swinney numerous times in elections, says he must focus on dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness while he is First Minister.

Murdo Fraser. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish ParliamentMurdo Fraser. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Murdo Fraser. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

He said: “I wish Mr Swinney all the best in his new role, which lately has become a real poisoned chalice. 

“He has said he hopes to work with Unionist parties in Scotland in order to make the country better but he has also made it clear that his main aim will still be to seek independence, which is a very backward outlook. 

“We have had successive First Ministers who have failed to come out publicly and say they will definitely dual the notorious A9 in full.

“A large part of the road is in his backyard so he has no excuse for not dualling the road in full. 

“The A9 Perth to Inverness road has a horrendous record for the number of fatalities and accidents, and it claimed the life of a woman following yet another fatality on Monday (May 6) at Slochd.”

Mr Fraser continued: “Local residents and road safety campaigners are tired of hearing about the need for independence when the SNP should be concentrating on issues that really matter, such as the dualling of the A9. 

“The SNP Government initially set out to have the dualling of the A9 done by 2025 but they have now set a revised date of 2035 for completion of the project.

“Many of us feel the SNP Government have been too influenced in many of their policies by the Greens, who are very much against road infrastructure projects like the A9, so it will be interesting to see if Mr Swinney will stand up to them and make some progress with the dualling scheme. 

“He needs to stop wasting time talking about independence when there clearly is very little appetite for this in Scotland now.”

That’s all for today’s live blog - thank you for following along live with us!

In the meantime you can keep up-to-date on all things politics on The Scotsman’s website.

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