Nicola Sturgeon has given her reaction to the SNP leadership election result.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf was announced as the winner this afternoon beating finance secretary Kate Forbes and former community safety minister Ash Regan.

Mr Yousaf is now set to become the youngest First Minister and first from an ethnic minority background when he is formally elected to the role in Holyrood tomorrow.

Writing on Twitter just after the result was announced at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon, wrote: "I pay tribute to all 3 candidates for the SNP leadership for rising to the challenge. Most of all I congratulate Humza Yousaf and wish him every success. He will be an outstanding leader and First Minister and I could not be prouder to have him succeed me."

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Ms Sturgeon did not endorse any candidate during the contest but it was speculated that Mr Yousaf was her favourite to succeed her.

SNP Westminster Leader Stephen Flynn, who was present in Murrayfield for the result of the contest, also congratulated Mr Yousaf on his victory.

"I warmly congratulate Humza Yousaf on his election as SNP leader, and look forward to working closely with him, as we deliver on the priorities of people in Scotland," he said.

"The SNP is the only party offering real change from the damage and decline caused by the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party, who are completely out of touch with Scotland's interests.

"Together, the SNP will relentlessly focus on the issues that matter - tackling the Tory cost of living crisis, improving public services, strengthening the economy and offering people in Scotland a genuine choice over their future with independence."

He added: "Finally, it's important to recognise the particular significance of Humza's election for many communities across Scotland, as he stands to become the first Scots Asian and muslim First Minister.

"The huge symbolism of this historic moment will send an important message to young people about the kind of country Scotland is and the fair and progressive future we want to build."

Prominent SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who backed Ms Regan's campaign wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to Humza Yousaf on his election. I look forward to the promised bigger tent approach to leadership, an improved approach to policy development & a renewed commitment to the cause of indy. Congrats to Ash and Kate for invigorating the debate."