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New Cabinet appointed

Wednesday June 27th, 2018

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today appointed a new, refreshed Scottish Government Cabinet.scot_parliament_2788141Sml

The new appointments are designed to meet current challenges, introduce new talent and ensure the government is capitalising on all opportunities in taking forward its bold and ambitious programme for Scotland.

Five new Cabinet Secretaries have been appointed, with the overall size of the Cabinet increasing to 12 to reflect the increasing impact of Brexit on Scottish Government business, and ensure direct Cabinet oversight of the operational delivery of a new social security system.

The First Minister has appointed Humza Yousaf as Justice Secretary. Among his other responsibilities, he will lead the delivery of new Hate Crime laws.

Jeane Freeman is promoted to become Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and will continue work to reform the NHS, and prepare it for the future.

Shirley-Anne Somerville has been appointed as a dedicated Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People and will oversee the operational delivery of the first social security payments following the passage of the landmark Social Security Bill.

Aileen Campbell will become Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and lead the Scottish Government’s work to tackle poverty and inequality and, in partnership with councils, take forward plans to reform local governance.

Following the successful establishment of the new Scottish system of Income Tax and with increasing focus on the need for strategic investment to grow the economy, the First Minister has appointed Derek Mackay and Michael Matheson to two key economic posts.

Derek Mackay will become Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and will be supported by a team of ministers including a Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills alongside new posts of Minister for Public Finance and the Digital Economy, and a Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation.

Michael Matheson will become Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. He will be supported by a new Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, tasked with delivering 100% superfast broadband across Scotland. Fergus Ewing will continue as Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy.

Michael Russell will join Cabinet with responsibility for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, overseeing the necessary preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU in a way that protects Scotland’s interests and ensures that the Government’s wider programme of work is not affected, and leading discussions with the UK Government as the Brexit process continues.

John Swinney, Roseanna Cunningham and Fiona Hyslop will remain in their current posts, while Keith Brown, Shona Robison and Angela Constance will leave the government.

The new appointments will be put to Parliament for approval on Thursday 28 June.

Unveiling the new Cabinet line-up, the First Minister said:

“The new Cabinet I am announcing today brings fresh talent to the Scottish Government and ensures that we are fully equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the country in the months and years ahead.

With the impact of Brexit on our economy and wider society, it is right that the issues it presents are fully reflected at Cabinet level, while the delivery of a new Scottish social security system also requires a voice at the Cabinet table.

Those appointments, together with the reshaped portfolios announced today, mean that people can have confidence that the Scottish Government will continue to deliver for people, public services and communities the length and breadth of the country.

People already have high trust in the Scottish Government to look after their interests, and I am determined that this new, refreshed Cabinet will continue to repay that trust.

I would like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to Keith Brown, Shona Robison and Angela Constance who are leaving Cabinet today for the hard work, commitment and dedication they have brought to the Government. Each of them has achievements that they can be proud of and I know that they will all continue to make a strong contribution to the cause of a better Scotland.

I will shortly be appointing a fully refreshed junior ministerial team, which will also include a number of fresh faces and a wealth of new talent.”

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