Swinney named new leader of Scotland’s SNP

London — Scottish political veteran John Swinney on Monday was named head of the pro-independence SNP party, leaving him poised to become Scotland’s leader.

Swinney, 60, said on X, formerly Twitter, he was “deeply honored to have been elected as leader of the SNP” after Humza Yousaf resigned last week after little more than a year as Scottish leader and head of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

The SNP confirmed Swinney’s election after nominations for the post closed at 12 noon (1100 GMT) without any other challengers emerging.

Humza stepped down last Monday as he faced a confidence vote in the Scottish parliament that he was set to lose having ditched his junior coalition partners, the Scottish Green Party, in a row over climate policy.

Swinney is likely to become the next first minister, head of the devolved Scottish government, but will still need enough votes in the Scottish parliament to be elected first minister.

Launching his bid last week, Swinney said he was running “to unite the SNP and unite Scotland for independence”, despite polls showing stalled support for a split from the UK.

“I want to build on the work of the SNP government to create a modern, diverse, dynamic Scotland that will ensure opportunity for all of our citizens,” Swinney told supporters in Edinburgh.

Swinney inherits a difficult political legacy with former SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon embroiled in a party funding scandal and a challenging domestic policy landscape.

With the SNP heading a minority government in the 129-seat Scottish parliament, he will need the support of another party to form a governing coalition or pass pieces of legislation.

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