THE SNP has appointed a woman to chair the party for the first time.

Former MP Kirsten Oswald is taking on the business convener role, succeeding MSP Derek Mackay, after being nominated by Nicola Sturgeon.

She will now be responsible for overseeing operational party matters and chairing the national executive committee and national conference.

Oswald said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be appointed business convener for the SNP at this crucial point in Scottish and UK politics.

“With the UK Tory government hellbent on dragging our country off a job-destroying Brexit cliff edge it is more vital than ever that Scotland’s voice is heard.

“To make that voice louder and more powerful it is vital that all of our members have every opportunity to have their say - and that enhanced member power will be my priority.”

Bruce Crawford and Angus Robertson have previously held the position, which was created in 2004.

Finance Secretary Mackay, who had the role for seven years, said: “The past seven years has been an incredible period of growth for the SNP.

“It has also been the most dynamic period in modern Scottish political history.”