Nicola Sturgeon to become Scotland’s First Minister
Nicola Sturgeon is to become the leader of the SNP and Scotland’s First Minister next month, as she was the only person to put herself forward as a candidate.
The party’s deputy leader – who previously led the SNP group in the Scottish Parliament from 2004 until 2007 – last month confirmed her intention to stand to replace Alex Salmond as leader of the party.
Mr Salmond announced he would step down as SNP leader last month, following the Yes campaign’s defeat in the Scottish Independence referendum.
As the deadline passed at 9am on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon was the only candidate to have put her name forward.
She will take over as SNP leader and First Minister next month when Mr Salmond steps down, and she will be officially announced as SNP leader at the party’s conference net month.
The Scottish Parliament needs to approve Ms Sturgeon’s appointment as First Minister, but given the SNP’s majority, it is extremely likely to go through.
In doing so, Ms Sturgeon will become Scotland’s first ever female First Minister.
Ms Sturgeon has been a strong proponent of equal marriage in Scotland, leading the party’s commitment to introduce it in 2012 when she said: “We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – we believe that this is the right thing to do.”
Announcing her candidacy, she said: “To be the first minister of my country, especially at this exciting and optimistic time, would be both a great honour – without doubt, the greatest honour – and an immense responsibility.
“I am putting myself forward for two simple reasons: I want to serve my party and my country. And I believe I am the best person for the job.
“I also hope that my candidacy, should it succeed, will send a strong message to every girl and young woman in Scotland – no matter your background or what you want to achieve in life, in Scotland in 2014 there is no glass ceiling on ambition.”
Three candidates have put themselves forward to become Deputy SNP leader.