Scotland gets first female FM
Nicola Sturgeon will become Scotland’s First Minister today after Alex Salmond stepped down from the role. It will be the first time a woman has held the position.
The appointment depends on a vote by MSPs at Holyrood, but the SNP majority ensures there will be no barrier to Sturgeon taking the post of Scotland’s fifth leader since devolution.
“Big day. I promise that I will give it my all and serve everyone in our country to the very best of my ability,” she tweeted this morning.
Sturgeon succeeded Salmond as party leader at the weekend during the party’s autumn conference in Perth.
On Thursday, she is due to swear an oath of allegiance before Scotland's judges in Edinburgh's Court of Session, and will receive a Royal Warrant before conducting her first First Minister’s questions.
She is also expected to appoint a deputy first minister, probably as part of a wider Scottish cabinet reshuffle.
At the SNP conference on Sunday she made reference to the UK's first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “But where Mrs Thatcher divided society, I want to do the opposite,” she said.
Alex Salmond said during his resignation speech to parliament yesterday he had confidence in his former deputy.
"Any parting is tinged with some sorrow, but in this case it's 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, the talent, the potential of the people of Scotland," he said.
You can read more about Nicola Sturgeon’s journey to the top here