John Swinney is the deputy first minister of Scotland and Covid Recovery secretary at Holyrood. He has represented Perthshire North – formerly North Tayside – in Scottish parliament since 1999 and previously served for four years as SNP leader. Having joined the party at the age of 15, Swinney is a career politician who briefly represented his constituency in Westminster before dedicating his time solely to Holyrood. The former education secretary controversially announced the cancellation of all SQA higher and advanced higher exams for 2021, leaving thousands of pupils with uncertain futures as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Swinney has since been given the additional title of Covid Recovery secretary and remains a strong candidate to succeed Sturgeon as first minister.