Keith Brown appointed as new Transport Minister


First Minister Alex Salmond today appointed Keith Brown as Scotland's new Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.

Mr Brown takes over the post following the resignation of Stewart Stevenson from the Government yesterday.

Mr Brown's post as Minister for Skills and Lifelong learning is proposed to be filled by Angela Constance, who is to be promoted from the backbenches pending parliamentary and Royal approval.

Meanwhile, the Climate Change brief will be added to the portfolio of Roseanna Cunningham, who becomes Minister for the Environment and Climate Change.

Mr Salmond said:

"Keith Brown has been an excellent Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, and has all of the qualities needed to help meet the unprecedented challenges thrown up by the recent severe winter weather, as well as preparing for future challenges.

"Finance Secretary John Swinney will take the lead on transport issues for the next few days, and under John's leadership, I am confident that Keith will play a key role in ensuring that our infrastructure and transport can stand the extremities whatever the weather might throw at us in Scotland.

"Angela Constance has proved herself to be an extremely able Parliamentary performer in committee and in debates in the chamber, which is why I intend to bring her into the Government.

"Angela will be a real asset to the Government in the Skills and Lifelong Learning brief which Keith has filled so ably, and along with Michael Russelll will help drive forward the improvements we are seeing across the board in Scotland's classrooms.

"Tackling climate change is a key priority for this Government, and we are proud to have passed world-leading legislation on this issue. And in order to ensure the policy remains a top focus of this administration it has now been combined with the Environment portfolio under Roseanna Cunningham."

Keith Brown said: "Stewart Stevenson can be proud of his achievement in piloting world-leading climate legislation through the Scottish Parliament, and has made a real contribution to the success of the Scottish Government in the last three and a half years.

"I have enjoyed making a positive contribution to Scotland's education system as Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, including the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence, and I am looking forward to taking on the job of Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, with all the challenges that involves."

Angela Constance said: "I am delighted to be proposed as the new Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, and I hope to build on the good work done by Keith in his time in the job.

"It is an honour to be nominated as a Minister and I look forward to joining front-bench colleagues in taking forward the work of the Scottish Government."


Keith Brown MSP

Keith Brown has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Ochil Constituency since May 2007. Before his election he served for eleven years as a councillor in Clackmannanshire, and held the post of Council Leader from 1999 to 2003. He has also been since 1999 a member of the European Union's Committee of the Regions, serving as President (2004-2006) of the Union for a Europe of the Nations - European Alliance (UEN-EA) group on that body.

Keith worked for fifteen years as a local government professional in neighbouring Stirling, where he was also an active trade union representative with UNISON. He is a graduate of Dundee University and a former Marine who served in the Falklands. Originally from Edinburgh, Keith now lives in Dollar with his three children.

Angela Constance MSP

Angela Constance has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Livingston Constituency since May 2007.

Angela was born, raised and educated in West Lothian.

Prior to her election in May 2007 she worked as a social worker and mental health officer and was a local councillor in Livingston. She is married with one child.