It was only last month that I wrote in these pages about the first anniversary of Humza Yousaf’s time as First Minister. It seems that in politics, a month can be a very long time indeed.

However, needless to say, it is certainly a relief that Humza Yousaf’s premiership won’t be carrying on for a second year.

After he spent his first year in the job lurching from one disaster to the next, he was finally forced to accept that his Scottish Green coalition partners should have no place in the Scottish Government.

This opened the door for Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross to lodge a motion of no confidence in the First Minister and from this moment on, the writing was on the wall for Humza Yousaf.

By delivering strong opposition at exactly the right moment, the Scottish Conservatives were successfully able to force the incumbent First Minister out of office.

So the focus must now shift to the new First Minister, John Swinney, who we will continue to hold to account every step of the way.

Indeed, anyone who is hoping that this change of leadership might just signal a fresh start and a change of direction for the SNP, will be sorely disappointed.

John Swinney has been clear that the pursuit of independence will be put front and centre of his government. Just as we have seen for the last 17 years of SNP Government, independence will be prioritised ahead of improving our NHS, our police, our schools, and our economy.

On this issue, the new First Minister isn’t even trying to hide his true intentions, with the tagline for Swinney’s leadership campaign having been ‘Unite for Independence’.

So much like Humza, John Swinney’s record on other issues in government is not one he would want to shout about.

For example, as Education Secretary, Swinney chose to ditch a crucial Education Bill, he bungled the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence, and he was at the centre of exam grade fiascos during the pandemic. Then during his first ever session of FMQs last week, he refused to commit to the SNP’s pledge to hire 3,500 more teachers – a pledge that Swinney made himself in 2021.

Of course, John Swinney insists that things will be different now that he has the top job. He has even spoken about the importance of politicians from different parties finding agreement where possible and working together to improve the services we all rely on.

These are welcome words, which I hope are truly genuine.

Along with my colleagues I have always stood ready to work constructively wherever possible, and I will continue this approach with John Swinney’s government.

However, if the First Minister does not deliver on this commitment and instead we see more of the same one-track-mind-government that is entirely focused on independence, then we will not hesitate to try and force Swinney out of office at the first opportunity.

Humza Yousaf was forced to learn this lesson the hard way, but only time will tell if John Swinney is able to be quicker on the uptake.