10/15/2014 04:59 am ET Updated Dec 15, 2014

Nicola Sturgeon To Become First Female First Minister Of Scotland

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Scottish nationalist Nicola Sturgeon will succeed Alex Salmond as leader, the Scottish National Party said on Wednesday after she was the only candidate nominated as party leader.

After Scots voted 55-45 percent against independence in a Sept. 18 referendum, First Minister Salmond announced he would step down.

Sturgeon, 44, will be formally announced as leader at the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference on November 14. Leadership of the SNP means she will also become the first female First Minister of Scotland.

"She will be a fantastic new leader of both the party and our country," Derek Mackay, a senior SNP lawmaker from the Scottish parliament, said in a statement.

"She will build on the substantial legacy and extraordinary achievements of Alex Salmond as the longest serving First Minister, and make her own mark as she leads Scotland forward," he said.

Less than a month after Scots spurned independence, Salmond said on Tuesday that British Prime Minister David Cameron was betraying Scotland by reneging on pledges to grant more spending powers to the Scottish parliament.

"Where there was deep disappointment at not winning the referendum, there is now a real focus on ensuring that Westminster delivers on its vow to deliver extensive new powers for Scotland," Mackay said. (Reporting by Sarah Cooper, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)



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