Alex Salmond is the leader of the Scottish National Party which became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament in the election of May 2007. Born in Linlithgow in 1954, Salmond has an MA in Economics and History from St Andrews University, and worked in the civil service and for the Royal Bank of Scotland before being elected to the UK Parliament as SNP MP for Banff and Buchan in 1987. He first served as SNP leader between 1990 and 2000. In 2001 he stood down from the newly-created Scottish Parliament while remaining an MP in the UK Parliament. He was returned as party leader for a second time in 2004, and has been re-elected to the Scottish Parliament as MSP for Gordon.
In 2007, he led the SNP to become the largest party in the Scottish Parliament. The SNP formed a minority government with Salmond as First Minister