Changes to Scottish Government


Changes to the Scottish Government Ministerial team were announced today.

The changes include:

  • Alex Neil appointed as Minister for Housing and Communities. The Sport remit will now be led by Shona Robison who becomes Minister for Public Health and Sport
  • Roseanna Cunningham appointed as Minister for the Environment
  • Keith Brown appointed as Education Minister for Schools and Skills
  • Michael Russell taking responsibility for the Constitution as Minister for Culture, External Affairs and Constitution

Stewart Maxwell, Linda Fabiani and Maureen Watt leave the Government.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

"The Scottish Government approaches the mid-term of this Parliament having secured the successful passage of the Budget, and with independence within touching distance of being successful in our proposed referendum in 2010.

"Now is the right time to bring in fresh talent and experience. The country is facing enormous challenges on the economy, and I want to utilise all the many skills at our disposal to boost the process of recovery across the work of government.

"The purpose of this reshuffle is to give talented individuals such as Alex Neil, Roseanna Cunningham and Keith Brown the opportunity to make their contribution to government, and the delivery of vital public services for the Scottish people.

"And Michael Russell moves to a revamped post in the Office of First Minister, where his responsibilities will include developing the Government's work on the constitution - and steering forward the National Conversation - as we move towards our planned referendum next year.

"I want to thank Stewart Maxwell, Linda Fabiani, and Maureen Watt for their work and dedication over the past 20 months, and being part of what has been an extraordinarily successful team. There have been no failures in the ministerial team, but I have asked them to make way to give colleagues an opportunity to show what they can contribute."

The new appointments to the Ministerial team are still subject to formal approval by Parliament.

The revised Ministerial team is:

Office of the First Minister

First Minister - Alex Salmond. Responsibilities include: Head of the devolved Scottish government: responsible for development, implementation and presentation of Government policy, and for promoting and representing Scotland

Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution - Michael Russell. Responsibilities include: Europe, external affairs, constitutional affairs, culture and the arts, architecture, built heritage, Historic Scotland and lottery funding, major events strategy, and Gaelic

Minister for Parliamentary Business - Bruce Crawford. Responsibilities include: Parliamentary affairs and the management of Government business in the Parliament

Health and Wellbeing

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary - Nicola Sturgeon. Responsibilities include: NHS, health service reform, allied healthcare services, acute and primary services, performance, quality and improvement framework, health promotion, sport, public health, health improvement, pharmaceutical services, food safety and dentistry, community care, older people, mental health, learning disability, substance misuse, social inclusion, equalities, anti-poverty measures, housing and regeneration.

Minister for Public Health and Sport - Shona Robison.

Minister for Housing and Communities - Alex Neil

Finance and Sustainable Growth

Cabinet Secretary - John Swinney. Responsibilities include: The economy, the Scottish Budget, public service reform, de-regulation, local government, public service delivery, cities and community planning, General Register Office, Registers of Scotland, relocation, e-government, Scottish Public Pensions Agency, procurement, budgetary monitoring, business and industry including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, trade and inward investment, corporate social responsibility, voluntary sector and the social economy, community business and corporate development, European Structural Funds, energy, tourism, land use planning system, climate change, building standards, transport policy and delivery, public transport, road, rail services, air and ferry services, Scottish Water.

Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism - Jim Mather.

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change - Stewart Stevenson.

Education and Lifelong Learning

Cabinet Secretary - Fiona Hyslop. Responsibilities include: Further and higher education, science and lifelong learning, school education, training and skills, HM Inspectorate of Education and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, nurseries and childcare, children's services, children's hearings, social work and HM Social Work Inspectorate.

Minister for Children and Early Years - Adam Ingram.

Minister for Schools and Skills - Keith Brown.


Cabinet Secretary - Kenny MacAskill. Responsibilities include: Criminal law and procedure, youth justice, criminal justice social work, police, prisons and sentencing policy, legal aid, legal profession, courts and law reform, anti-social behaviour, sectarianism, human rights, fire and rescue services, community safety, civil contingencies, drugs policy and related matters, liquor licensing, vulnerable witnesses, victim support and civil law, charity law, religious and faith organisations.

Minister for Community Safety - Fergus Ewing.

Rural Affairs and the Environment

Cabinet Secretary - Richard Lochhead. Responsibilities include: Agriculture, fisheries and rural development including aquaculture and forestry, environment and natural heritage, land reform, water quality regulation and sustainable development.

Minister for Environment - Roseanna Cunningham.

Law Officers

Lord Advocate - Elish Angiolini.

Solicitor General - Frank Mulholland.