Scottish Parliament chamber

Scottish Cabinet reshuffle confirmed as First Minister reveals team

New Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has confirmed his full ministerial team, after being appointed First Minister on Tuesday.

The reshuffle was made harder thanks to the departures of some key members of government, including Yousaf’s leadership opponent Kate Forbes who was previously Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy. Ivan McKee, campaign manager for Forbes’ leadership run, also departed after being offered what he believed to be a lesser role having been Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise since May 2021.

The new Cabinet will consist of:

  • Shona Robison will become the new Deputy First Minister whilst also taking on the Finance portfolio and responsibility for the Scottish Budget. She previously held the role of Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government.
  • Michael Matheson, who previously held the role of Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport under Nicola Sturgeon, has now become the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care.
  • Jenny Gilruth will join the Cabinet for the first time as Secretary for Education and Skills, having previously held the role of Minister for Transport.
  • Mairi McAllen will also step into the Cabinet for the first time. Her previous role as Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform should lend itself well to her new position as Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition.
  • Neil Gray, previously working as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, will make his Cabinet debut as the Secretary for Wellbeing, Economy, Fair Work and Energy.
  • Mairi Gougeon will maintain her position as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands. This is a role that she has held since May 2021.
  • Angus Robertson will continue as Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture having taken over the position in May 2021 after the SNP’s election victory.
  • Shirley-Anne Somerville will take on the role of Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, with the position vacated by Shona Robison. Somerville was previously the Secretary for Education.
  • Angela Constance will make a return to the Cabinet, having been made the Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs. She was the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities before being made Minister for Drugs Policy after the sacking of Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick.

This is the first time that a Scottish Cabinet will be made up of a majority of women, whilst five of the nine members are under the age of 40.

Speaking about his new Cabinet, Humza Yousaf said:

“The Cabinet team I have unveiled reflects the priorities that we will pursue as a government – including tackling child poverty, improving public services and building a fairer, greener economy.

“Ahead of my appointment as First Minister, I have committed myself to a radical, ambitious and progressive policy agenda for Scotland – and I know that this team is the right one to deliver it.

“I want to thank those Ministers departing government for their leadership over the last few years, through many storms not of our making – the economic damage caused by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, austerity and the cost of living crisis. Those Ministers – led so ably by Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney – leave a strong legacy for the new team to build on.

“I have made clear my belief Scotland’s government should look as much as possible like the people we represent. As well as being the first ever First Minister from a minority ethnic background, I am pleased that a record number of women have agreed to serve, as well as a significant blend of younger and more experienced members. That said, every single appointment has been made on merit.

“Every single person in this government is clear that it is for the people of Scotland to determine their constitutional future – no one else – and we will work to ensure that they are given that right. As we make the case for Scottish independence, we will continue to govern well and demonstrate to the people of Scotland the benefits of decisions about their lives being taken here in Scotland.

“Subject to Parliament’s approval, the new Ministerial team is ready to get to work delivering for the people of Scotland.”

The new-look Cabinet will be supported by 18 Junior Ministers, however their appointment will need to be formally agreed to by both Parliament and King Charles III.

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