John Swinney elected Scotland's new First Minister

Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

John Swinney is Scotland's new First Minister.

He was elected as the country's leader in Holyrood today after receiving 64 votes, with a further seven abstentions from the Scottish Greens.

The Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross picked up 31 votes, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar secured 22 with the head of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Alex Cole-Hamilton, winning four.

Swinney assumes the office following the resignation of his predecessor Humza Yousaf, who wrote a letter to the King earlier today (Tuesday).

Yousaf's time as First Minister came to an end after he tore up the Bute House power sharing agreement between the SNP and the Greens.

Other potential candidates for the role such as Kate Forbes ultimately elected not to run, paving the way for John Swinney to take over unopposed.

Swinney previously served as leader of the SNP from 2000 to 2004 and has pledged that his Government will seek greater co-operation with opposition parties.

Speaking before votes were cast, Swinney said: "I hope we can all recognise that despite our political differences, we are all here because we want the best for Scotland, whatever our specific role happens to be."

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