Pedro Sánchez is sworn in as Spain's new prime minister

Mariano Rajoy lost a no confidence motion on Friday

Pedro Sánchez is sworn in as Spain's new prime minister

Pedro Sánchez (left) is sworn in as prime minister as Spain's King Felipe VI (right) looks on | Image: © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Pedro Sánchez has been sworn in as the new Spanish prime minister after ousting Mariano Rajoy in a vote of no confidence.

The leader of the socialist PSOE party came to power at a ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid, presided over by Spain's King Felipe VI.

On Friday, Mr Sanchez successfully persuaded Spanish MPs to back a move to remove the former head of government in the wake of a corruption scandal.

The vote of no-confidence came after 29 former members of Mr Rajoy's conservative Popular Party were convicted of corruption last week.

Although the parliament voted 180-169 on Friday to replace Mr Rajoy's government with one led by Mr Sanchez, the Socialists have just 84 seats in the 350-seat parliament and his minority government will supported by a disparate group of parties with minority interests.

Mariano Rajoy listens to speeches during the first day of a motion of no confidence session at the Spanish parliament in Madrid | Image: Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images

The Catalan government said in a statement on Friday afternoon that its new cabinet members would take office on Saturday morning.

Under the terms of its rule, Madrid is obliged to devolve power back to the Catalan government once it is fully constituted and its cabinet members named.

Mr Sanchez has already said he wants to "build bridges" with Cataluña's new separatist government, headed by Quim Torra.

Mr Rajoy imposed direct rule on the region in October, following a referendum on independence which the Spanish government considered illegal.

Catalan pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) member Joan Tarda said his decision to take part in the move to oust Mr Rajoy had been motivated by views on the former prime minister.

He said: "Our 'Yes' to Sanchez is a 'No' to Rajoy."