SHONA Robison is to serve under Humza Yousaf as Scotland's deputy first minister, it has been announced.

Robison had served as the Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Secretary in Nicola Sturgeon's government since 2021.

Yousaf told reporters at Holyrood that Robison had agreed to take on the deputy position, which had been filled by John Swinney before he stepped down alongside Sturgeon.

Robison said that a final decision on whether she would hold a second role, as Swinney did, had yet to be taken.

READ MORE: What it was like in Holyrood as Humza Yousaf won vote to be Scotland's FM

Asked who was to be in his Cabinet, Yousaf said: "I'm very pleased to tell you that Shona Robison has agreed to be my deputy first minister which I'm delighted about.

"She and I are just about to go up and finalise some of our Cabinet appointments and our government appointments."

Robison was a key figure in Yousaf's leadership campaign, as was SNP MSP Neil Gray. 

Gray has also been tipped for a top job in the new government, and was photographed alongside Yousaf and Robison at the signing of the papers putting in the nomination form to become first minister.

The National:

Asked if he would offer Kate Forbes a job – after he narrowly beat in the leadership race by 52% to 48% – Yousaf said he had already spoken to her and "absolutely" wanted to bring her into government.

Later on Tuesday, Forbes rejected Yousaf's offer of taking on the rural affairs brief. While a Cabinet position, that would have been a demotion from her finance secretary role. 

Asked about Ash Regan's prospects, Yousaf said: "I've not spoken to Ash yet, but as I say, Shona and I have got a job to finalise our Cabinet and our government."

He further told The National that: "There absolutely will be a minister who will advance the cause of independence."

Cabinet appointments will be made in the coming days and are due to be confirmed by MSPs on Thursday.

The new first minister also told journalists he would have a call with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak "very soon" and that he planned to bring the case for independence directly to the Tory leader.

Sturgeon responded to news of Robison's appointment on Twitter, saying: "Just when I think I can't feel any prouder today ... congrats."

Yousaf told journalists that the former first minister had called him after he was elected SNP leader. "She said to me something lovely," he said.

"She said other than your wife and your mother, I will be the proudest person in that chamber when you are, hopefully, voted, as I have been, first minister.”