No rival for Sturgeon
Deputy First Minister will become SNP leader
The deadline for nominations to be the new leader of the SNP has passed without a challenger emerging to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
As no other candidates put their name forward for the job before 9am, Sturgeon will now be announced as the new leader at the party’s conference in Perth next month.
First Minister Alex Salmond announced he was stepping down following the vote against independence in September's referendum, allowing Sturgeon to launch her bid to run the party. Although it would need to be formally ratified, the SNP’s overall majority in parliament ensures she will also be appointed as Scotland's first female First Minister.
SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP said: "I am delighted that Nicola Sturgeon will succeed Alex Salmond as Leader of the SNP. She will be a fantastic new leader of both the party and our country. She will build on the substantial legacy and extraordinary achievements of Alex Salmond as the longest serving First Minister, and make her own mark as she leads Scotland forward. The party is in great heart and relishing the opportunities ahead."
Three candidates are competing to replace Sturgeon as deputy leader, with Transport Minister Keith Brown, Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance and SNP Treasury spokesman in Westminster Stewart Hosie vying for the job.
Keith Brown will become the party’s standing campaign director, with responsibility for policy development and preparation for future elections
Exclusive interview with the SNP’s new depute leader on the Growth Commission report, indyref2 and how he interprets his role
The increase will apply to all NHS staff in Scotland working under Agenda for Change and earning up to £80,000
The SNP will announce its new depute leader at its spring conference later this week