St Andrew's House, a building of the Scottish Government in Edinburgh

New Cabinet confirmed

After being confirmed as the new Scottish First Minister earlier this week, John Swinney has confirmed his new ministerial team.

The Cabinet will feature 11 secretaries, with those being supported by a further 14 ministers, which means a decrease in the size of the government since the beginning of the year. As Deputy First Minister, Kate Forbes will support Swinney, whilst also holding the role of Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Gaelic; Ivan McKee will also return to the government as Minister for Public Finance after a year. The full cabinet is:

  • First Minister – John Swinney
  • Deputy First Minister/Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Gaelic – Kate Forbes
  • Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government – Shona Robison
  • Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills – Jenny Gilruth
  • Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs – Angela Constance
  • Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Energy – Mairi McAllan
  • Cabinet Secretary for Transport – Fiona Hyslop
  • Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care – Neil Gray
  • Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice - Shirley-Anne Somerville
  • Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture – Angus Robertson
  • Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform, and Islands – Mairi Gougeon

Speaking about the appointments, Swinney said:

“Ahead of my appointment as First Minister, I committed to working collaboratively across the parliament to address the pressing issues facing the people of Scotland.

“With that in mind, I have selected a cabinet team that blends experience and energy, with a strong focus on the priorities my government will pursue – eradicating child poverty, driving economic growth, meeting climate obligations and investing in our vital public services.”

Swinney was officially appointed as First Minister earlier this week, with the Scottish Parliament voting 64 to 57 to select him. Notably, the Scottish Green Party – the party on the other side of the decision to end the Bute House Agreement which ultimately led to the resignation of former First Minister Humza Yousaf – abstained on the vote to select Swinney, whilst voting against the selection of Kate Forbes as Deputy First Minister.

Accepting the role of First Minister and reiterating his commitment to ending child poverty, Swinney commented:

“I am leading a minority government. I will need to reach out to others to make things happen. If we want to fund our schools and our hospitals, if we want to give our businesses a competitive edge, if we want to take climate action, if we want to eradicate child poverty, if we want to change people’s lives for the better, we have to work together to do so.

“I commit my government to working to create that agreement across the chamber. I hope there is the space and the willingness for that to happen in the interests of the people who sent us here.”


Image credit: iStock


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