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Lesson Starter What do I know already? How many first ministers have there been? Is there a fixed term of office? What type of government is the SNP at.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson Starter What do I know already? How many first ministers have there been? Is there a fixed term of office? What type of government is the SNP at."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson Starter What do I know already? How many first ministers have there been? Is there a fixed term of office? What type of government is the SNP at the moment? What was it in the parliament?

2 The Role of the First Minister

3 About the role of the first minister What will I learn?

4 Success Criteria I will be able to outline and a detailed description of the work of the first minister.

5 First Ministers of Scotland There have been 4 First Ministers of Scotland since the Parliament opened in Donald Dewar died in Henry McLeish had to resign in 2001 after a financial scandal. Jack McConnell became First Minister in November 2001 and quit in 2007 when the SNP defeated Labour. He was replaced by Alex Salmond.

6 Choosing the First Minister Salmond was elected by ALL MSPs, as all First Ministers are. ( ). First nationalist to be elected First Minister of Scotland. This stands in contrast with Westminster where only the dominant party selects the leader.

7 The Role of the First Minister The first minister is head of the devolved Scottish Government. Leads the Cabinet. Responsible for the presentation and implementation of government policy. Also directly accountable to the SP for his actions.

8 First Minister Cont….. The First Minister is expected to have a vision for the country. His campaigns cut across and permeate the work of all Government departments. See proposed policies

9 First Minister Cont…. Alex Salmond has set himself the task of making Scotland a more outward looking country. He has led campaigns such as the ‘National Conversation’ which seeks to get the people talking about the possibility of Scottish Independence from the UK.

10 The Role of the First Minister His personal vision as First Minister is that he wants to encourage enterprise and encourage Scots not to wait for someone else to do something, but to take action themselves in their communities to improve Scottish society. Salmond has been at the forefront of Glasgow’s preparations for hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games. This is part of the Scottish Government's strategy to promote Scotland internationally and to encourage healthier living and increase participation in sport.

11 First Minister…. The FM will NOT attempt to speak for Scotland on defence issues. This explains why McConnell was keen not to get involved in debates in Parliament about the war in Iraq as he had no authority over this issue. Alex Salmond has not taken the same approach- spoken out over Trident.

12 First Minister.. The post of FM is comparable, in some ways, to that of Prime Minister in the UK. He is ‘first among equals’ within the Scottish Cabinet. He is ‘captain’ of the team – a bit like a player manager. He has the role of chairing the Scottish Cabinet, which meets on Wednesday mornings.

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14 The Role of the First Minister 2010 travel chaos- extreme weather conditions. Stewart Stevenson (transport minister) forced to resign Alex Salmond accepted resignation but did defend him. IN A LETTER TO MR STEVENSON, THE FIRST MINISTER ADDED: "I UNDERSTAND YOUR REASONS FOR RESIGNING BUT FRANKLY I THINK IT IS WRONG THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE FACED THIS SITUATION. "YOU HAVE WORKED TO ENSURE THE PREPAREDNESS OF OUR TRANSPORT NETWORK FOR WINTER WEATHER. THESE PLANS HAVE GENERALLY PROVED EFFECTIVE BUT ON MONDAY WE WERE FACED WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGE

15 First Minister…. The FM does not have quite the same powers of patronage as the PM. This is not because of the Constitution, but simply because he doesn't have the same monopoly of power as the PM has at Westminster. E.g. When Labour were in power they were part of a coalition with the Lib Dems and had to negotiate with their leader Nicol Stephen on Cabinet issues. Salmond has had to bargain with the other parties to pass legislation in the SP. More confident as now hold a majority.

16 Choosing the Cabinet Jack McConnell made many changes- fired a lot of high profile MSPs. Brought people in of his own choice. Salmond mirrored this action. Appointed Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney to the cabinet. Nicola Sturgeon has been at the heart of government, playing a key role when the SNP won minority control in 2007 and again when it won a majority in 2011.

17 First Minister…. Salmond has the power to hire and fire in the SNP. The FM is accountable for the actions of himself and the Scottish Government at First Ministers Question Time. McConnell extended and moved FM QT to Thursday at 12pm to try to improve the quality of the exchanges. F M QT is the opposition parties’ opportunity to score points and embarrass the Scottish Government.

18 Overview


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