Former Scottish Amicable strategic planning principal John Swinney has been confirmed as cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth in the Scottish Parliament.
Swinney will head up the new department created in the major restructuring of the Parliament that took place after first minister Alex Salmond was sworn in today.
There had been some speculation that opposition parties would block his appointment but in the end they abstained.
Swinney’s brief is wide ranging, covering the economy, local government, energy, tourism, climate change, public transport and Scottish Water.
Swinney held the role of strategic planning principle at Scot Am between 1992 and 1997.
He entered Westminster in 1997 as MP for North Tayside, before representing the constituency in the Scottish Parliament from 1999 and stood down from his Westminster seat in 2001.
Swinney took over as leader of the SNP after Alex Salmond stood down in 2000, and resigned in 2004.