First Minister of Scotland

As First Minister (English First Minister, First Scots Meinister o Scotland; gäl. Prìomh Mhinistear na h- Alba ) is referred to since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the Scottish government. By this term is deliberately distinguished from the Prime Minister, who is head of government of the entire United Kingdom. Current incumbent is Alex Salmond.

The First Minister is a member of the Scottish Parliament and is nominated by this. The official appointment is made by the monarch of the United Kingdom. The powers of the First Minister include the nomination of the members of the Cabinet, the Secretaries of State and the prosecutors. He is accountable to the Scottish Parliament accountable for his actions and that of the entire government.


In 1997, the Scottish electorate voted in a referendum to the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and a regional government. Through these institutions a degree of independence in Scotland relevant areas such as health care or education should be granted. Even their own laws, may adopt a limited extent the Scottish Parliament since that time. The referendum was implemented by the British Labour government under Tony Blair and led to changes in the administration and legislation in Scotland. One of the consequences was the creation of the post of First Minister as the head of the Scottish Parliament.

The term of the First Minister is used as the prime minister. He was elected on the basis of the designation of government formerly subordinate administrative units such as provinces and territories of Canada, the provinces of South Africa or of the states and territories of Australia.

Prior to self-determination similar tasks were perceived by the Scotland minister with the competencies of the First Minister, who heads the Scotland Office, a division of the extended British government, which has existed since 1885. The Scotland minister is also a member of the British Cabinet. Des Browne filled the post mainly symbolic and was also Minister of Defence, while his successor, Jim Murphy held only the office of Scotland minister. Current Scotland Secretary Michael Moore is to succeed Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary of the Treasury, after only seventeen days in office.

Previous Officers

Deputy First Minister