A first minister is one of a variety of terms for the leader of a government cabinet, which is a term currently used to refer to the political leader of a devolved national government, such as the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, or of a dependent territory.
In Canada, "first ministers" is a collective term that refers to all of the Canadian first ministers of the Crown, otherwise known as heads of government, including the Prime Minister of Canada and the provincial and territorial premiers. It is used in such formulae as "first ministers' meetings".
The head of government of Norway was called first minister (Norwegian: førstestatsråd) between 1814 and 1873, while it was in personal union with Sweden. In 1893, 12 years prior to the dissolution of the union, it was changed to prime minister (statsminister).
In the United Kingdom, the term first minister was once used interchangeably with prime minister, such as when Winston Churchill stated: "I did not become His Majesty's First Minister so that I might oversee the liquidation of the British Empire!"
George Price held the office of First Minister of British Honduras from 1961 until 1964, when it became self-governing and the title was changed to Premier. He continued as Premier after the colony changed its names to Belize, and then as Prime Minister after Belize gained full independence in 1981.
Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond (; born 31 December 1954) is a Scottish politician who served as the First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014. He was the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) for over twenty years, having served for two terms, firstly from 1990 to 2000 and subsequently from 2004 to 2014. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Banff and Buchan between 1987 and 2010, when he stood down to focus on his other roles, and then for Gordon from 2015 to 2017, when he lost his seat to Scottish Conservative candidate Colin Clark. During the 2015–2017 parliament, he was the SNP International Affairs and Europe spokesperson in the House of Commons.
From 1987 to 2010, Salmond served as MP for Banff and Buchan. Following the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, Salmond also served as the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Banff and Buchan from 1999 to 2001, while continuing to serve as that constituency's MP. Salmond served as the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Gordon from 2007 to 2011, and for Aberdeenshire East from 2011 to 2016.
Salmond resigned as SNP leader in 2000 and did not seek re-election to the Scottish Parliament. He did however retain his Westminster seat in the 2001 general election. Salmond was once again elected SNP leader in 2004 and the following year held his Banff and Buchan seat in the 2005 general election. In 2006 he announced his intention to contest Gordon in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election. Salmond defeated the incumbent MSP and the SNP emerged as the largest single party. After the SNP secured confidence and supply support from the Scottish Green Party, Salmond was voted First Minister by the Scottish Parliament on 16 May 2007. During his first term, he headed a minority Scottish Government. At the 2011 Scottish Parliament election the SNP won with an overall majority, a feat previously thought almost impossible under the additional member system used in elections for the Scottish Parliament.
Politically, Salmond is one of the foremost proponents of Scottish independence, repeatedly calling for a referendum on the issue. Salmond has campaigned on global warming and in government has committed Scotland to legislation on emission reduction and the generation of renewable energy. The day after the 2014 independence referendum, at which a majority of Scottish voters chose to remain part of the United Kingdom, Salmond announced his intention not to stand for re-election as leader of the SNP at the SNP National Conference in November, and to resign as First Minister thereafter. He was succeeded as SNP leader by his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, as she was the only candidate to stand for the leadership election. He submitted his resignation as First Minister on 18 November, and was succeeded by Sturgeon the following day.In August 2018, Salmond resigned from the party after allegations of sexual misconduct. In January 2019, he was arrested and charged with 14 offences, including multiple counts of attempted rape and sexual assault.Arlene Foster
Arlene Isabel Foster MLA PC (née Kelly; born 3 July 1970) is a Northern Irish politician who has served as Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party since December 2015, and Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone since 2003.
Foster served in the Northern Ireland Executive as Minister of the Environment from 2007 until 2008, Minister for Enterprise and Investment from 2008 until 2015 and Minister for Finance and Personnel from 2015 until 2016. In January 2016, Foster became First Minister of Northern Ireland and shared power with Martin McGuinness.
McGuinness resigned as deputy First Minister in January 2017 amid the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal, which involved a green energy scheme that Foster set up during her time as Minister for Enterprise and Investment. The scheme was set to cost the taxpayer £490 million and there were allegations of corruption surrounding the scheme. McGuinness asked Foster to step aside as First Minister while her involvement in the scheme was investigated, but she refused to step aside or resign and said that the voices calling for her resignation were those of misogynists and male chauvinists. Under the terms of the Northern Ireland power-sharing agreement, the First and deputy First Ministers are equal and, therefore, Foster could not remain in her post as First Minister. McGuinness's resignation caused a snap election to be held.Bajoran
In the Star Trek science-fiction franchise, the Bajorans are a humanoid extraterrestrial species native to the planet Bajor. They were first introduced in the 1991 episode "Ensign Ro" of Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequently were a pivotal element of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and also appeared in Star Trek: Voyager. The shows' writers initially depicted the Bajorans as an oppressed people who were often forced to live as refugees, whom they likened to a variety of ethnic groups. Rick Berman, who helped to originally conceive them, compared them to "the Palestinians, [...] the boat people from Haiti — unfortunately, the homeless and terrorism are problems [of every age]." Ronald D. Moore similarly commented, "depending on the episode, you could also call Bajor Israel, or Iran, or even America and the Cardassians could be Germans, or Russians or several other examples… [but] we don't really try to make Bajor a direct analogy to any specific contemporary country or people." Various Bajoran characters were included in several of the Star Trek series, including Ro Laren (played by Michelle Forbes) in The Next Generation as well as a number of others in Deep Space Nine, which was set on a space station near to Bajor, and which featured Bajoran characters such as Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) and Winn Adami (Louise Fletcher).Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Howell Jones (born 21 March 1967) is a Welsh Labour politician who served as First Minister of Wales and Leader of the Welsh Labour Party from 2009 to 2018. He served as Counsel General for Wales from 2007 to 2009. Jones was first elected Member of the National Assembly (AM) for Bridgend in 1999.
Jones served in the Cabinet as Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Welsh Government from 2000 to 2002, and as Minister of State for the Environment from 2003 to 2007. Following the 2007 election, he was appointed Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language, and thereafter Counsel General for Wales and Leader of the House following the One Wales coalition agreement with Plaid Cymru.
Jones succeeded Rhodri Morgan as Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister on 1 December 2009, where Jones was elected with over 50% of the vote. The third politician to lead the Welsh Government, Jones was nominated as First Minister by the National Assembly on 9 December 2009, and was sworn into office the following day. On 21 April 2018 he announced he would step down as First Minister in the autumn, and was succeeded by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford in December 2018.Deputy First Minister of Scotland
The Deputy First Minister of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Leas-Phrìomh Mhinistear na h-Alba; Scots: Heid Meinister Depute o Scotland) is the deputy to the First Minister of Scotland. The post-holder deputises for the First Minister of Scotland in period of absence or overseas visits, and will be expected to answer to the Scottish Parliament on behalf of the First Minister at First Minister's Questions.First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland
The First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland (Irish: Céad Aire agus an Leas-Chéad Aire Thuaisceart Éireann, Ulster-Scots: Furst Männystèr an Deputy Furst Männystèr o Norlin Airlann) are the joint heads of the Northern Ireland Executive and have overall responsibility for the running of the Executive Office.
The two positions have the same governmental power, resulting in a duumvirate; despite the name, the deputy First Minister is not subordinate to the First Minister. Created under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, both were initially nominated and appointed by members of the Northern Ireland Assembly on a joint ticket by a cross-community vote, using consociational principles. That process was changed following the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, meaning that the First Minister and deputy First Minister are now nominated separately by the largest parties in each of the two largest community designations in the assembly.First Minister of Scotland
The First Minister of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Prìomh Mhinistear na h-Alba; Scots: Heid Meinister o Scotland) is the leader of the Scottish Government. The First Minister chairs the Scottish Cabinet and is primarily responsible for the formulation, development and presentation of Scottish Government policy. Additional functions of the First Minister include promoting and representing Scotland, in an official capacity, at home and abroad and responsibility for constitutional affairs, as they relate to devolution and the Scottish Government.The First Minister is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and nominated by the Scottish Parliament before being officially appointed by the monarch. Members of the Cabinet and junior ministers of the Scottish Government as well as the Scottish law officers, are appointed by the First Minister. As head of the Scottish Government, the First Minister is directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament for their actions and the actions of the wider government.
Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party is the current First Minister of Scotland.First Minister of Wales
The First Minister of Wales (Welsh: Prif Weinidog Cymru) is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe and the wider world.
The official office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel, previously known as Crickhowell House, and the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. An office is also kept at the Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff.Jack McConnell
Jack Wilson McConnell, Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale, (born 30 June 1960) is a Scottish politician and a Labour life peer in the House of Lords. He was the First Minister of Scotland from 2001 to 2007. He was the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw from 1999 to 2011.
McConnell became an MSP in the inaugural elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, later holding the positions of Finance Minister, and Education Minister. He was elected First Minister following the resignation of his predecessor Henry McLeish, and led the Scottish Labour Party to its second election victory in the 2003 Election.
After losing office as First Minister of Scotland, McConnell became a member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom. He made a commitment to continuing his work to tackle poverty in Africa and to develop the relationship between Scotland and Malawi.List of Prime Ministers of Belize
The following article contains a list of Prime Ministers of Belize, from the establishment of the position of First Minister of British Honduras in 1961 to the present day.Martin McGuinness
James Martin Pacelli McGuinness (Irish: Séamus Máirtín Pacelli Mag Aonghusa; 23 May 1950 – 21 March 2017) was an Irish republican Sinn Féin politician who was the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 2007 to January 2017.
A former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader, McGuinness was the MP for Mid Ulster from 1997 until his resignation in 2013. Like all Sinn Féin MPs, McGuinness abstained from participation in the Westminster Parliament. Following the St Andrews Agreement and the Assembly election in 2007, as Sinn Féin's political leader in the North, he became deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland on 8 May 2007, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Ian Paisley becoming First Minister. On 5 June 2008 he was re-appointed as deputy First Minister to serve alongside Peter Robinson, who succeeded Paisley as First Minister. McGuinness previously served as Minister of Education in the Northern Ireland Executive between 1999 and 2002. He was Sinn Féin's candidate for President of Ireland in the 2011 election.Working alongside US Special Envoy George Mitchell, McGuinness was also one of the main architects of the Good Friday Agreement which formally cemented the Northern Ireland peace process.On 9 January 2017, McGuinness resigned as deputy First Minister in a protest over the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal. He announced on 19 January that he would not be standing for re-election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in the 2 March 2017 election due to ill health. He reportedly suffered from amyloidosis, a condition that attacks the vital organs, and retired shortly before his death on 21 March 2017, aged 66.Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon (born 19 July 1970) is a Scottish politician serving as the fifth and current First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since November 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position. Sturgeon has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999, first as an additional member for the Glasgow electoral region from 1999 to 2007 and as the member for Glasgow Southside since 2007 (known as Glasgow Govan from 2007 to 2011).
A law graduate of the University of Glasgow, Sturgeon worked as a solicitor in Glasgow. After being elected to the Scottish Parliament, she served successively as the SNP's shadow minister for education, health, and justice. In 2004 she announced that she would stand as a candidate for the leadership of the SNP following the resignation of John Swinney. However, she later withdrew from the contest in favour of Alex Salmond, standing instead as depute (deputy) leader on a joint ticket with Salmond.
Both were subsequently elected, and as Salmond was still an MP in the House of Commons, Sturgeon led the SNP in the Scottish Parliament from 2004 to 2007. The SNP won the highest number of seats in the Scottish Parliament in the 2007 election and Salmond was subsequently appointed First Minister. He appointed Sturgeon as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. She was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities in 2012.
Following the defeat of the "Yes" campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Salmond announced that he would be resigning as party leader at the SNP party conference that November, and would resign as First Minister after a new leader was chosen. No one else was nominated for the post by the time nominations closed, leaving Sturgeon to take the party leadership unopposed at the SNP's annual conference. She was formally elected to succeed Salmond as First Minister on 19 November.Northern Ireland Executive
The Northern Ireland Executive is the devolved government of Northern Ireland, an administrative branch of the legislature Northern Ireland Assembly. It is answerable to the Assembly and was established according to the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which followed the Good Friday Agreement (or Belfast Agreement). The executive is referred to in the legislation as the Executive Committee of the Assembly and is an example of a consociationalist government.
The Northern Ireland Executive consists of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and various ministers with individual portfolios and remits. The main Assembly parties appoint most ministers in the executive, except for the Minister of Justice who is elected by a cross-community vote. It is one of three devolved governments in the United Kingdom, the others being the Scottish and Welsh Governments.
In January 2017, the deputy First Minister resigned as a result of the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal and the Northern Ireland Executive subsequently collapsed. As of February 2019, the Executive is still vacant.Peter Robinson (Northern Ireland politician)
Peter David Robinson (born 29 December 1948) is a British politician who served as First Minister of Northern Ireland from 2008 until 2016 and Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from 2008 until 2015. He has been involved in Northern Irish politics for over 40 years, being a founding member of the DUP along with the late Ian Paisley.
Robinson served in the role of General Secretary of the DUP from 1975, a position which he held until 1979 and which afforded him the opportunity to exert unprecedented influence within the fledgeling party. In 1977, Robinson was elected as a councillor for the Castlereagh Borough Council in Dundonald, and in 1979, he became the youngest-serving Member of Parliament (MP) when he was narrowly elected for Belfast East. He held this seat until his defeat by Naomi Long in 2010, making him the longest-serving Belfast MP since the 1800 Act of Union.
In 1980, Robinson was elected as the deputy leader of the DUP. Following the re-establishment of devolved government in Northern Ireland as a result of the Good Friday Agreement, Robinson was elected in 1998 as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Belfast East. Robinson subsequently served as Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Finance and Personnel in the Northern Ireland Executive. Robinson was elected unopposed to succeed Ian Paisley as leader of the DUP on 15 April 2008, and was subsequently confirmed as First Minister of Northern Ireland on 5 June 2008.In January 2010, following a scandal involving his wife Iris, Robinson temporarily handed over his duties as First Minister to Arlene Foster under the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 2006. Following a police investigation, which recommended that Robinson should not be prosecuted following allegations made by the BBC in relation to the scandal, he resumed his duties as First Minister.
The Official Assembly Commissioner's Investigation and Report completely cleared Robinson of any wrongdoing. The Report was unanimously accepted by the Standards and Privileges Committee and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Again in September 2015 he stood aside to allow Arlene Foster to become acting First Minister after his bid to adjourn the assembly was rejected. Robinson's action was a response to a murder carried out by the IRA which was linked to a party in the Northern Ireland Executive. Robinson resumed his duties on 20 October 2015. On 19 November 2015, he announced that he would be stepping down as First Minister and as leader of the DUP. Robinson subsequently stepped down as First Minister on 11 January 2016 and has now fully retired.Premier of Ontario
The Premier of Ontario (French: Premier ministre de l'Ontario) is the first minister of the Crown for the Canadian province of Ontario and the province’s head of government. The position was formerly styled "Prime Minister of Ontario" until the ministry of Bill Davis formally changed the title to premier.The 26th and current Premier of Ontario is Doug Ford of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, sworn in on June 29, 2018. Ontario's first premier was John Sandfield Macdonald, in office from 1867 to 1871. The longest serving premier in Ontario history was Sir Oliver Mowat, in office from 1872 to 1896.Prime Minister of Greenland
The Prime Minister of Greenland (Greenlandic: Naalakkersuisut siulittaasuat, lit Leader of the Government; Danish: Landsstyreformand), officially referred to as the Premier, is the head of the Government of Greenland, the autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. The incumbent Prime Minister is Kim Kielsen of the Siumut party. The Prime Minister is usually leader of the majority party in the Parliament of Greenland. Jonathan Motzfeldt became Prime Minister after home rule was granted to Greenland in 1979.Scotland
Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom. The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922.
Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England.The Scottish Parliament, which is a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council, and sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into 32 subdivisions, known as local authorities, or councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area.Scottish Government
The Scottish Government (Scottish Gaelic: Riaghaltas na h-Alba; Scots: Scots Govrenment) is the executive government of the devolved Scottish Parliament. The government was established in 1999 as the Scottish Executive under the Scotland Act 1998, which created a devolved administration for Scotland in line with the result of the 1997 referendum on Scottish devolution. The government consists of cabinet secretaries, who attend cabinet meetings, and ministers, who do not. It is led by the first minister, who selects the cabinet secretaries and ministers with approval of parliament.Welsh Government
The Welsh Government (Welsh: Llywodraeth Cymru) is the devolved government of Wales. It was established by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which created a devolved administration for Wales in line with the result of the 1997 referendum on devolution. The Welsh Government formally separated from the Assembly in 2007 following the passage of the Government of Wales Act 2006. The government consists of ministers, who attend cabinet meetings, and deputy ministers who do not, and also of a counsel general. It is led by the first minister, usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly, who selects ministers and deputy ministers with the approval of the assembly. The government is responsible for tabling policy in devolved areas (such as health, education, economic development, transport and local government) for consideration by the assembly and implementing policy that has been approved by it.The current Welsh Government is a Labour led administration, following the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election. Mark Drakeford has been the First Minister of Wales since December 2018.