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Swinney survives Holyrood no confidence vote

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Education Secretary John Swinney has survived a no-confidence vote at Holyrood over the school results row.

The motion, tabled by Labour, was defeated as expected, by 67 votes to 58.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems called supported the motion. But the conditions attached to Mr Swinney’s U-turn was enough for the Scottish Greens to back the SNP in the vote.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Mr Swinney was “one of the most decent and dedicated people in Scottish politics” and had shown humility in admitting to making a mistake which he had fixed.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard led the debate in which there were repeated accusations that Mr Swinney had dithered over making a decision on correcting the errors in the school marking system.

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Mr Leonard Mr Swinney “only jumped to action when his own job was on the line”.

Scottish Conservative group leader Ruth Davidson said there had been “repeated warnings” about the exams moderation issue, saying Mr Swinney “could see the car crash coming and didn’t act”.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said the education secretary had made a “massive error of judgement”.

He said: “John Swinney knows in his quieter moments that he should go.”

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