Sturgeon Becomes First Minister

19 November 2014, 17:08

Nicola Sturgeon has described her appointment as the first female First Minister of Scotland as "an honour and a privilege''.

Ms Sturgeon, who was voted in by the Scottish Parliament today to succeed Alex Salmond, vowed to lead a "bold, imaginative and adventurous'' Government which will build a "social democratic and socially just'' nation.

She also paid tribute to her predecessor Mr Salmond, who resigned from the role yesterday, telling MSPs that she owed him "a personal debt of gratitude''.

Ms Sturgeon, 44, said: "My pledge today to every citizen of our country is simple but it is heartfelt.

"I will be First Minister for all of Scotland. Regardless of your politics or your point of view, my job is to serve you. And I promise that I will do so to the best of my ability.''

Watched from the chamber gallery at Holyrood by her family, staff and SNP supporters, she said: "Alex Salmond's place in history as one of Scotland's greatest leaders is secure and rightly so.

"However, I have no doubt that he has a big contribution yet to make to politics in Scotland. I know that I will continue to seek his wise counsel.''

She went on: "To become First Minister is special and a big responsibility. To make history as the first woman First Minister is even more so.

"I hope that my election as First Minister does indeed help to open the gate to greater opportunity for all women. There should be no limit to your ambition or what you can achieve.

"If you are good enough and if you work hard enough, the sky is the limit - and no glass ceiling should ever stop you from achieving your dreams.''

She went on: "My role as First Minister will be to help build a Scotland that all those who live and work here can be proud of.

"A nation both social democratic and socially just. A Scotland confident in itself, proud of its successes and honest about its weaknesses. A Scotland of good government and civic empowerment. A Scotland vigorous and determined in its resolution to address poverty, support business, promote growth and tackle inequality.

"It will surprise no-one to hear that I will always argue the case for more powers - indeed the full powers of independence - for this Parliament.

"I believe that the more we are able to do as a parliament and government, the better we can serve the people who elect us.

"But I will also - and always - do my utmost to govern well with the powers we have now.

"These are the points against which my government will set its compass.''

Ms Sturgeon won the vote for nomination as First Minister with 66 votes from 120.

A further 15 votes were cast for Conservative leader Ruth Davidson who also put herself forward or nomination, while there were 39 abstentions.

Ms Sturgeon will now be officially sworn in at the Court of Session in Edinburgh tomorrow.