Longest-serving first minister Salmond will not 'go on and on'


Alex Salmond: "I wake up every morning and look forward to the day ahead."

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SNP leader Alex Salmond said he was proud to be Scotland's longest-serving first minister but he had no intention of going "on and on" in the post.

In interviews with the BBC, the politician added he had no immediate plans to "depart the scene" with the independence referendum due in 2014.

Mr Salmond is Scotland's fourth first minister and to date the only non-Labour politician to take the post.

Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell went before him.

Mr Salmond conceded that his darkest days were around the time of the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

He said his political high point was his election victory in May 2011 when he delivered a historic majority of MSPs to Holyrood.

Mr Salmond told BBC Scotland's Raymond Buchanan: "I wake up every morning and look forward to the day ahead."

Previous first ministers

Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell

1. Donald Dewar: First minister from 13 May 1999 to 11 October 2000

2. Henry McLeish: First minister from 26 October 2000 to 8 November 2001

3. Jack McConnell: First minister from 22 November 2001 to 16 May 2007

He insisted he would not go "on and on", but added: "I want to see Scotland win the referendum, I want to see the opening of the door of opportunity in that referendum and I have no immediate plans to depart the scene."

In an earlier interview with BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Salmond said he was proud of his achievements during his 2002 days in the post.

He told presenter Hayley Millar: "I think the most substantial thing that I am proud of, and the administration should be, is the establishment of a social contract between the Scottish government and the people of Scotland in extraordinarily tough times.

"In these difficult times we have managed to both preserve and indeed extend social objectives like the removal of tuition fees, the protection of free care for the elderly, the importance of having a national health service which is free at the point of need to everyone.

"These are big social protections and advances and that is what I would describe as a social contract between the government and the people."

Start Quote

It was Margaret Thatcher who said in a BBC interview in 1987, after winning her third election victory, that she intended to go "on and on". Her colleagues duly precluded that option by preventing her from contesting a fourth election.”

End Quote

Following devolution and the first elections to the new Scottish Parliament, Labour grandee Mr Dewar became the first minister on 13 May 1999.

He held the post until his death in October 2000.

Mr McLeish was Scotland's next first minister, taking on the role from 26 October, 2000, to 8 November, 2001.

By the end of November that year Mr McConnell was in the hot seat. He lasted until May 2007 when the SNP, under the leadership of Mr Salmond, won minority government.

On Wednesday, 7 November, Mr Salmond overtook Mr McConnell's time in the post.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated the SNP leader on reaching the political milestone.

She said: "The people of Scotland overwhelmingly trust the Scottish government headed by Alex Salmond - 71% trust the Scottish government to act in Scotland's interests, up from 51% under the previous Lab/Lib Executive in 2006, and compared to just 18% who trust the UK government.

"In 2011, people in Scotland gave a remarkable vote of confidence in Alex Salmond's leadership and the team, record and vision of the SNP - delivering an overall majority at Holyrood, and becoming the only first minister to win two elections.

"It is this record of success that will help win a yes vote in the referendum for an independent Scotland in autumn 2014."


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  • Comment number 256.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 255.

    212 Luke
    Yeah we've had that 'concept' for over a thousand years.
    How much research have you actually done?

  • rate this

    Comment number 254.

    The lies Salmond has told about the existence of legal advice on Scotland's position in relation to EU membership have now been exposed for all to see. As the campaign for independence develops over the next two years we'll increasingly see how opinion is substituted for fact in the nationalist arguement. The Scottish people are far too smart to be fooled as the opinion polls are showing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    never believe in polls, Romney thought he was neck and neck and got stuffed, look at the likes and dislikes on this comments section, the balance is in favour of the yes vote, live with it.

  • Comment number 252.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 251.

    Must really be irking a lot of people on here (who more than a few of incidentally dont seem have a vote in the matter) that the future of Scotland and it's ability to make it's own decisions for the benefit of the people who live here, will be decided by the people who live here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 250.

    The list of questions that comes from Scottish independence is huge. How do you split national debt, defence, infrastructure, regulation, currency etc? Ideas like shared defence or keeping £ are comical. Independence is total, there are no grey areas. RBS and HBOS owe so much money they would bankrupt Scotland. Independence is a Pandoras box, there will be no support from south of the border.

  • rate this

    Comment number 249.

    Salmond is selling Scotland down the river for his own place in History. He is merely a transient figure and will not go on & on but he is prepared to sacrifice Scotlands future for his footnote in history.

    I urge Scots to look at the long term and reject this man and his vain proposals.

  • rate this

    Comment number 248.

    Salmond should be remembered, as the First Minister who presided over the release of a convicted murderer, who committed the greatest massacre, of innocent men, women and children, in our country's history.

  • Comment number 247.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 246.

    There will be a no vote in the referendum.

  • rate this

    Comment number 245.

    The one thing that Salmond does do is go on and on and on

  • Comment number 244.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 243.

    I have yet to read what benefits an independence Scotland would have to Scotland. Surely the arguments should not be solely about financial viability but whether the effect if any there would be to Scottish culture. It does appear a backward step where most countries are integrating into cooperation whereas Scotland is seeking separation. Alex Salmond is living in the post world war era.

  • rate this

    Comment number 242.

    This is a deeply flawed unprincipled politician that encourages anglophobia, a welfare dependent community, division and a 'hold no principle' approach to power. NATO, the Pound, BoE running our fiscal economy, the Euro, Europe - all in all out, the Queen, change after change. They are not a party of politics but driven purely of power, naivety and brigadoonary.

    But he'll be gone soon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.


    And why will Scotland be in poverty? All our nearest similarly sized independent peers are all doing better than we are. They've moved far ahead of Scotland. We're marginalised by being part of the UK. No international voice, or even in the UK, for that matter, where Scottish needs are never put first. Stop being so brainwashed and do some research.

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    i wish the first minister well for the future, and thank him for overseeing a government that can be trusted to keep its word and promises. its a proud time to be Scots, that unlike our neighbours in England we have a Government that is concerned for those who are struggling

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    184 Bill Walker
    One of the (many) compelling reasons for voting YES in 2014 is that after Independence Scotland will no longer have a 'Lords'. You mistakenly tar AS with the same brush as that corrupt, immoral, fraudulent, self-serving, vapid bunch 'serving' in Westminster. In Scotland we have voted for something different. Check the approval ratings. Our First Minister is clearly first class

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    The SNP are a one-man band. No man lasts for ever. Without the wily, u-turning Salmond, the party will be in disarray.

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    This interview technique on BBC Radio Scotland was pathetic, it won the highest contempt from me, to ask questions during an answer to a previous question was being given is pathetic, The guy is showing the interviewer some courtessy, by trying to answer the questions directed but she is showing nothing but rudeness. You aren't doing your listeners any service by doing this.


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