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John Swinney Takes the Helm as Scotland’s First Minister, Pledges to Tackle Major National Issues

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John Swinney Takes Oath as Scotland's First Minister

John Swinney has officially assumed the role of Keeper of the Scottish Seal, or the Great Seal, following his swearing-in and declaration of loyalty to the King during a formal event in Edinburgh.

Scotland correspondent @Jenster13

Wednesday, May 8, 2024 12:34

John Swinney has officially taken the oath of office as Scotland's seventh First Minister.

At 60 years of age, he has assumed the role of Keeper of the Scottish Seal, commonly referred to as the Great Seal, following his swearing-in and commitment of loyalty to the King.

The seal enables the sovereign to approve formal papers without the necessity of signing each individually.

As the Keeper of the Scottish Seal, Mr. Swinney has been granted the power to act on behalf of the crown, enabling him to govern the country with backing from the Scottish parliament.

The event was held at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, overseen by Scotland's top judge, Lord President Lord Carloway.

Mr. Swinney was joined by his family—his wife Elizabeth, his brother David, and his 13-year-old son Matthew—as he appeared in court.

Addressing the media following the event, Mr. Swinney described the experience of reciting the oaths as profoundly moving, expressing his honor in serving as first minister and acknowledging the support from his family.

He expressed his eagerness to devote his forthcoming years to the service of the Scottish populace.

"This is a remarkable chance to make a positive impact on people's lives, and I intend to utilize every available moment to achieve that."

"This sudden shift in our situation has taken my family by surprise. Just 10 days ago, we couldn't have imagined this turn of events."

Mr. Swinney, succeeding Humza Yousaf as the leader of the SNP, is anticipated to start forming his cabinet.

Former finance secretary Kate Forbes, who opted not to enter the SNP leadership contest and supported Mr. Swinney instead, has been assured a "significant" position.

The premier committed to dedicating his efforts to his role following his unopposed election and subsequent endorsement by Holyrood, succeeding the SNP leadership contest.

Discover more: Who exactly is John Swinney?

Mr. Swinney, formerly the deputy to Nicola Sturgeon, has declared that he is not just a temporary leader and plans to head the SNP through the upcoming general and Scottish elections.

He has committed to prioritizing economic growth, employment, cost of living, healthcare, education, public services, and environmental challenges.

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Stay updated with the most recent developments in the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

The premier has clarified that he does not plan to renew the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens, opting instead to handle matters individually within a minority government comprising 63 MSPs.

During a session in the Scottish parliament, Mr. Swinney addressed the opposition parties, stating, "To support our educational and healthcare institutions, to provide our businesses with a competitive advantage, to address climate change, to eliminate child poverty, and to improve the quality of life for our citizens, it is essential that we collaborate."

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He expressed deep appreciation for his wife Elizabeth, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), acknowledging her "immense, everlasting gratitude" for "the sacrifices she is willing to endure" to allow him to accept the position.

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