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McLeish resignation Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 10:58 GMT
Scotland's new first minister sworn in
Jack and Bridget McConnell
Mr and Mrs McConnell pictured leaving the ceremony
Jack McConnell has been sworn in as First Minister of Scotland in a ceremony at the Supreme Court in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Labour leader took the oaths of office, watched by 13 of the country's most senior judges in Number One Court at the Court of Session.

The six-minute ceremony marked the official start of Mr McConnell's tenure as first minister and took place ahead of the naming of his cabinet.

Lord Cullen
Lord Cullen: Administered oaths
Lord Cullen, Lord President of the Court of Session and the country's most senior judge, administered the oath of office to Mr McConnell.

Mr McConnell's wife Bridget watched from a bench at the side of court, accompanied by Mr McConnell's new chief of staff, Mike Donnelly.

Labour backbenchers, Dr Elaine Murray, Bristow Muldoon and Karen Whitefield sat behind the pair.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and deputy First Minister Jim Wallace, was seated at the other side of the courtroom with several of Mr McConnell's aides and civil servants including Muir Russell, permanent secretary and Scotland's most senior civil servant.

Laid before Mr McConnell was the Seal of Scotland, a two-part silver device which is filled with wax and pressed together to authenticate official documents.

Keeper of the seal

Mr McConnell becomes the official keeper of the seal as first minister.

Mr McConnell pledged to serve the Queen in the office of first minister.

He also pledged to bear allegiance to her, her heirs and successors, and to serve her in the office of Keeper of the Scottish Seal.

"The court is now adjourned," said Lord Cullen, after the proceedings were over.

Mr McConnell then left for Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh, to conduct face-to-face talks with the new and outgoing members of his cabinet.


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26 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
23 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
22 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
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