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WATCH: John Swinney speaks to Heartland FM about his win in Perthshire North

Just moments after John Swinney was announced as the re-elected representative for Perthshire North, Heartland FM’s Alistair Smith got the opportunity to speak to the Scottish National Party MSP about his victory – which now makes him the longest serving parliamentarian in Scotland.

Speaking to Heartland FM, John Swinney said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returned, and returned with a larger majority and a bigger gap between the SNP and the Conservatives. So all round, it’s a fantastic result for the Scottish National Party, and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved.”

“With the retirement of Rosanna Cunningham, I now become the longest serving parliamentarian in Scotland. I was elected first in 1997. I’m delighted to take on that position from my dear colleague, Rosanna Cunningham. I’m going to miss Rosanna enormously as a parliamentary colleague, and she and I have been dear, close friends for many, many years.

“But it’s also a tremendous opportunity for me to continue my service to the people of Perthshire who I have served for the past 24 years, and I intend to continue to do so for a long time to come.”

When asked about what his return means for people in Highland Perthshire struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Swinney said, “We’ve been taking steps through a very difficult period to support businesses to navigate their way through all of these challenges. We have put in place financial support, we’ve assisted many businesses in Highland Perthshire already, and we’re working collaboratively to try to make sure we can return business activity.”

And when asked if he was able to enjoy a sleep before the count this time round, the MSP joked, “All this baloney that ‘you’ll get a great night’s sleep and you’ll be fresh for the count in the morning’ – total rubbish. I hardly slept a wink. I think I saw every single hour that God sent since I went to my bed around midnight.”

Watch the full interview above.

See the full candidate list for your area, and find more of our election coverage, on our Scottish Election 2021 page.

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