First Minister names his Cabinet


First Minister Jack McConnell today named the members of his new Cabinet and promised it would focus on the priorities of the people and work tirelessly to deliver real improvements in everyday life.

He said: "These are the right people at the right time for Scotland. I believe my Cabinet will make a real difference in the priorities we have outlined. They will be a disciplined and focused team delivering for the people of Scotland."

The Scottish Ministers will be:

First Minister
Jack McConnell
Head of Scottish Executive. With the DFM, responsible for the development, implementation and presentation of SE policies.

Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice
Jim Wallace
With the FM, responsible for the development, implementation and presentation of SE policies. External relations, especially development and implementation of links with Europe. Home affairs, including civil law and criminal justice, criminal justice social work services, police, fire, prisons, courts, law reform, freedom of information.

Minister for Education and Young People
Cathy Jamieson

Pre-school and school education, children and young people.

Minister for Enterprise, Transport, and Lifelong Learning
Wendy Alexander
The economy, transport, business and industry including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, trade and inward investment, energy, further and higher education, public transport, roads, lifeline air and ferry services, lifelong learning and training. Minister for Science.

Minister for Environment and Rural Development
Ross Finnie
The environment and natural heritage, renewable energy, land reform, water, sustainable development, rural development including aquaculture and forestry. Responsible for agriculture and fisheries.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport
Mike Watson
Tourism, sport, culture, and the Arts, the built heritage, architecture, Historic Scotland, lottery funding and Gaelic.

Minister for Social Justice
Iain Gray
Social inclusion, housing and area regeneration including the promotion of sustainable urban development, cities, the land use planning system and building standards, equality issues and the voluntary sector.

Minister for Finance and Public Services
Andy Kerr
The Scottish Budget, better public service delivery, modernising government including civil service reform, local government and European Structural Funds. Responsible for overseeing strategic communications

Minister for Health and Community Care
Malcolm Chisholm
Health policy; the National Health Service in Scotland, community care and food safety.

Minister for Parliamentary Business
Patricia Ferguson
Parliamentary affairs and the management of Executive business in the Parliament and Parliamentary liaison, public appointments policy and quango governance. Responsible for the co-ordination of Executive policy and the management of cross-cutting issues.

The Deputy Ministers will be:

Deputy Minister for Justice
Richard Simpson
With special responsibility for co-ordination of Executive policy in relation to drugs.

Deputy Minister for Education and Young People
Nicol Stephen
With specific responsibility for teachers and schools.

Deputy Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning
Lewis Macdonald
With specific responsibility for transport.

Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development
Allan Wilson

Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport
Elaine Murray
With specific responsibility for Arts and culture.

Deputy Minister for Social Justice
Margaret Curran
With specific responsibility for housing.

Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services
Peter Peacock
With specific responsibility for budgetary monitoring and control.

Deputy Ministers for Health and Community Care
Hugh Henry and Mary Mulligan

Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Business
Euan Robson
With particular responsibility for the Parliamentary handling of the legislative programme and management of cross-cutting priorities. Assists with the oversight of strategic communications.

The Lord Advocate Colin Boyd QC continues in his post. Neil Davidson QC is resigning as Solicitor General. The appointment of his successor will be announced on Wednesday.

In a message to Ministers, whose appointments are subject to Parliamentary approval, Mr McConnell said:

"In my statement to the Scottish Parliament last Thursday, I set out the fundamental principles which I am determined will underpin our decisions and actions:

  • to be open and transparent in all that we do
  • to enhance, rather than avoid, Parliamentary scrutiny
  • to stand for and speak for all the people of Scotland
  • to take decisions, but also to listen, to learn and to change when it is right to do so
  • to have the good sense to say no when the time is not right or the money is not there
  • most importantly, to use all the talents that are available and to cross party boundaries when we can work together for Scotland

"I look to you to follow these principles in your approach to your work as a member of my Ministerial team. In my statement, I also touched on some of my priorities for action in our approach to health, education, justice, transport, business and the environment. I emphasised the importance of building the best public services we can.

"I explained that I want to give children in Scotland the best possible start in life. Closing the opportunity gap between the haves and the have-nots must be our aim.

"I also committed myself to ensuring that every policy we initiate and every spending decision that we make is measured against the standard of social justice. Making progress in all these areas will require us to work together efficiently and effectively.

"Since July 1999, the Executive has amassed a formidable number of strategy documents, action plans, commitments and targets through which we have sought to define our direction. There is also a considerable volume of review activity going on across portfolios.

"We should make sure that we shape our policies thoughtfully. We should do less, but do it better. We should make sure that our policies are based on proper analysis.

"We must take time to consult those with an interest, consider the financial implications - both short and long term - of our proposals and think about the Parliamentary dimension. In other words, we should use the machinery of the Executive to do our business properly. Doing this, we shall produce better policies and better delivery on the ground."

Commenting on the departure from the Cabinet of Tom McCabe, Sarah Boyack, Angus McKay, Jackie Baillie, and Susan Deacon, as well as Neil Davidson, Solicitor General, the First Minister said:

"I am very grateful for the major contribution they have made to the work of the Executive over the last two a half years in their various roles. They have each played an important role in ensuring the Executive has made progress in delivering for the people of Scotland.

"We are now entering a new phase for the Scottish government. It is a phase in which we will refocus our efforts on the improvement of public services, and I am determined that we will succeed.

"Today I am creating the right team for that job. It is a team of great talents and puts the right people in the right jobs. It will be a united team that will reinvigorate our work on behalf of all Scotland. I am sure that those who today leave the Executive will continue to represent their constituents, support the government in its work and provide a positive contribution from the back benches."