I will preface my remarks by saying that my mother's Co-op number was 1760, which is why I always knew how many
On a personal basis, and on behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, I warmly congratulate Jack McConnell on his election as Scotland's First Minister. It is a great honour for him and, along with John Swinney, I wish Jack and his family well with the burdens of office that he is about to shoulder.
We have achieved much in the relatively short time of the Parliament. Everyone in the chamber knows that there is still much to be done. Jack McConnell has shown, as a minister in the Parliament, that he has the energy, ability and determination to deliver. His commitment to the Parliament and to Scottish politics goes back much further than May 1999. Working together in partnership with ourselves, civic Scotland, business, the trade unions and the churches, Jack played his part, through the Scottish Constitutional Convention, in helping to shape the Scottish Parliament. Since that time, he has proved that the Parliament can tackle the big issues, resolve complex problems and achieve results.
In his new role as First Minister, Jack McConnell will have an opportunity to shape the nation's future. He is not First Minister of a party, a coalition or a Parliament—he is Scotland's First Minister. We always said that the Scottish Parliament was a Parliament for the whole nation. I believe that Jack McConnell, with his island background and his urban constituency, is well placed to remember that.
I look forward to working with Jack McConnell in partnership, as a colleague and a friend, supporting him in the challenges that lie ahead as we seek to unlock the potential of a great nation.