NICOLA Sturgeon has reacted to John Swinney becoming Scotland’s new first minister.

Sturgeon’s deputy during her time as first minister, Swinney ultimately won the backing of 64 MSPs in a Holyrood vote today, with his nearest rival Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross picking up 31.

Swinney will be officially sworn in at the Court of Session on Wednesday, just nine days after predecessor Humza Yousaf announced he was stepping down following his decision to terminate the powersharing agreement that the SNP had with the Scottish Greens which led to a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

READ MORE: RECAP: John Swinney chosen to be Scotland's next first minister in Holyrood vote

In a tweet after the Holyrood vote, Sturgeon highlighted the fact she had worked closely with Swinney for more than 30 years.

“He was by my side throughout my time as FM - as deputy, friend and confidante,” she said.

“He is one of the kindest and most decent people I know - and without doubt the right person to be FM in this moment, for both party and country.”

She added: “Aside from his family, I doubt there is anyone in Scotland prouder of John today than I am. I wish him all the luck in the world.”

The National:

Yousaf also sent his best wishes, writing on Twitter/X: “My dear friend John Swinney is one of the most compassionate and caring people I know. Good qualities for any person to possess and are absolutely vital for the role of FM.

“He, and his team, will have my resolute support as he governs in the interest of all of Scotland.”

The new SNP leader will be sworn in as Scotland's first minister tomorrow, and a reshuffle of Cabinet ministers is expected afterwards.

Swinney will then lead the SNP's group of 63 MSPs, which is two short of the 65 needed for a majority. He will need to work with opposition parties in order to secure majorities and get any new legislation into law.