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John Swinney

John Swinney.png
Swinney in 2017
Deputy First Minister of Scotland
Assumed office
21 November 2014
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Nicola Sturgeon
Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery
Assumed office
20 May 2021
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Office established
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
In office
18 May 2016 – 20 May 2021
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Angela Constance
Roseanna Cunningham
Succeeded by Shirley-Anne Somerville
Cabinet Secretary for Finance,
Constitution and Economy
In office
17 May 2007 – 18 May 2016
First Minister Alex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Tom McCabe
Succeeded by Derek Mackay
Keith Brown
Personal details
Born
John Ramsay Swinney

13 April 1964 (1964-04-13) (age 57)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s)
Lorna King
(m. 1991; div. 1998)

Elizabeth Quigley (m. 2003)
Children 3
Relatives Tom Hunter VC (uncle)
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation Management consultant

John Ramsay Swinney (born 13 April 1964) is a Scottish politician currently serving as Deputy First Minister of Scotland since 2014 and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery since 2021. He was the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) from 2000 to 2004. He served as Finance Secretary from 2007 to 2016 and as Education Secretary from 2016 to 2021. Swinney has also served as the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Perthshire North since 2011, having previously represented North Tayside from 1999 to 2011.

Swinney served in the British House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Tayside North from 1997 to 2001. After Alex Salmond resigned the leadership in 2000, Swinney was elected Leader of the Scottish National Party in the ensuring leadership election. He became Leader of the Opposition in the Scottish Parliament. Swinney's leadership proved ineffectual, with a loss of one MP in 2001 and a further reduction to 27 MSPs in 2003 despite the Officegate scandal unseating previous First Minister Henry McLeish. However, the only parties to gain seats in that election where the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) which, like the SNP, support independence. After an unsuccessful leadership challenge in 2003, Swinney stepped down following disappointing results in the 2004 European Parliament election with Salmond returning to the role in the subsequent 2004 leadership contest.

The SNP won the highest number of seats in the Scottish Parliament in the 2007 election and Salmond was subsequently appointed First Minister. Swinney served under Salmond as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth from 2007 to 2014. After Nicola Sturgeon succeeded Salmond, she appointed Swinney as Deputy First Minister of Scotland in 2014. He also served as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, until that role was divided into two posts in the second Sturgeon government as a result of the expansion of the Scottish Parliament's financial powers; he was then appointed Education Secretary in 2016, and then as Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery in 2021.

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