Cabinet changes announced
The Scottish Government's new Cabinet team has been announced by First Minister Alex Salmond, subject to the necessary parliamentary approval.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s longest serving health secretary, will now become Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, playing a key role in the Scottish Government’s programme for economic recovery.
She will also take lead responsibility for Government Strategy and the Constitution, including preparations for the independence referendum.
Alex Neil will become Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing taking forward this key public service with the suppport of the existing strong team of Ministers, Sports Minister Shona Robison and Public Health Minister Michael Matheson.
Ms Sturgeon’s junior ministers will be Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, and Margaret Burgess, MSP for Cunninghame South, who will become new Minister for Housing and Welfare, reflecting the importance of housing in aiding economic recovery and also the challenges facing those in poverty.
Bruce Crawford MSP is to retire from his role as Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy.
Brian Adam will be stepping down as Minister for Parliamentary Business will be replaced by Joe FitzPatrick, MSP for Dundee City West. He will attend Cabinet and report to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
Stewart Stevenson will be stepping down as Minister for Environment and Climate Change and will be replaced by Paul Wheelhouse, MSP for South Scotland, who will report to Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead.
Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow, joins the Government as Minister for External Affairs and International Development reporting to Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.
The other Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers will remain.
The First Minister said the changes have been made in line with taking forward the Programme for Government which was announced yesterday (Tuesday) and preparing Scotland for the independence referendum in 2014.
There will be a Cabinet of eight members; the First Minister and seven Cabinet Secretaries.
This compares with 10 during the administration of Donald Dewar, and 11 during Henry McLeish's and Jack McConnell's terms as First Minister.
Reflecting the pay freeze taken by the Scottish Government for the past three years, all Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers (and Law Officers) will receive a salary at the April 1 2008 level, both for their Ministerial and MSP salary.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"This strong Ministerial team will take this Government forward in meeting the economic and social challenges we face while creating a better Scotland for future generations.
"As Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon has demonstrated what can be achieved when Scotland has responsibility for its own affairs. She has delivered record low waiting times and protected the NHS from the creeping privatisation of the UK Government. As Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, she will have a lead role in our programme for economic recovery. With responsibility for Government strategy and the constitution, she will also lead in making the positive case for Scotland’s future.
"Alex Neil has delivered the biggest infrastructure investment programme in Scotland’s history against a backdrop of budget cuts from Westminster. In taking forward Nicola Sturgeon’s substantial achievements as Health Secretary, he will ensure that Scotland’s health service continues to have the strongest possible leadership.
"In 2014, the people of Scotland will have the chance to seize the biggest opportunity in 300 years and ensure that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands.
"Over the next two years, this Government will set out the positive case for independence and present the real choice facing Scotland’s electorate between decisions about Scotland being taken by the people of Scotland or continued control from Westminster."
Thanking Mr Crawford for his work in Government, Alex Salmond said:
"Bruce Crawford is held in enormous respect not just by members of this Government but across all parties in the Parliament. Piloting a challenging legislative programme from Scotland’s first minority government through the Scottish Parliament was undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs in Government but one he always performed effectively and with good humour.
"Mr Crawford’s work on the Scotland Act and in preparing the Government for the forthcoming independence referendum has been exemplary.
"His advice has been of considerable benefit not just to this Government but to MSPs of all parties and, while he will be missed from the Cabinet table, I know he will continue to make a valuable contribution to the Scottish Parliament and to the people of Stirling."
Paying tribute to Stewart Stevenson for his service, the First Minister said:
"I am particularly grateful for the work Mr Stevenson did around championing Scotland’s world leading climate change legislation and sharing Scotland’s ambition with other governments and countries worldwide to tackle this huge issue.
"Mr Stevenson brought a unique intelligence and approach to his portfolio which was both refreshing and effective. His work to advance the cause of Scottish independence as we head towards 2014 was tireless."
Marking Mr Adam’s service, the First Minister said:
"Brian Adam’s talents as Chief Whip were absolutely essential to maintaining the Government in office and to ensuring we progressed our legislative programme. I warmly thank him for all he has done in serving the people of Scotland and advancing the cause of Scottish independence."
Welcoming the four new Ministers to Government, Mr Salmond said:
"Margaret Burgess, Humza Yousaf, Joe Fitzpatrick and Paul Wheelhouse bring their own unique talents to this already strong Government and I look forward to working with them."
New Cabinet with portfolio responsibilities
First Minister Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP
Head of the Scottish Government
Deputy First Minister Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities (with responsibility for Government Strategy and the Constitution) Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Infrastructure and capital investment, transport policy, housing policy, Scottish Water, procurement, European Structural Funds, Scottish Futures Trust, cities strategy, welfare reform, broadband and digital. Developing Government strategy and co-ordinating policy delivery across portfolios. Responsible for constitution policy, including preparations for the Referendum, UK relations. Freedom of Information.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney MSP
The economy, the Scottish Budget, employment, public service reform, deregulation, local government, public service delivery, and community planning, Registers of Scotland, Scottish Public Pensions Agency, relocation, e-government, 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 co-operative development, energy, renewables, tourism, building standards, land use planning system.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil MSP
NHS, health service reform, allied healthcare services, acute and primary services, performance, quality and improvement framework, health promotion, sport, Commonwealth Games, public health, health improvement, pharmaceutical services, food safety and dentistry, community care, older people, mental health, learning disability, carers, Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland, substance misuse, social inclusion, equalities.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell MSP
Further and higher education, science and lifelong learning, school education, early years, training and skills, new education agency, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, nurseries and childcare, children's services, children's hearings, social work, Gaelic and Scots.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill MSP
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.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead MSP
Agriculture, fisheries and rural development including aquaculture and forestry, environment and natural heritage, land reform, water quality regulation, sustainable development, and climate change.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP
Europe, external affairs, culture and the arts, broadcasting, architecture, built heritage, Historic Scotland and lottery funding, National Records of Scotland, and major events strategy.
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP
Energy & Energy Consents, Voluntary Sector & Social Economy, Accountant & bankruptcy, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Trade & Inward Investment (inc. SDI), Business & Industry inc manufacturing , Registers of Scotland
Minister for Local Government and Planning Derek Mackay MSP
Local Government, Community Planning, Business Improvement, Elections, Planning, Building Standards
Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell MSP
Social Services workforce, Early Years/Early Intervention, Protection of Vulnerable Groups Child protection, adoption and fostering, Kerelaw and Historic Abuse
Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages Dr Alasdair Allan MSP
Gaelic and Scots, Modern Languages and Scottish Studies, Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Behaviour, Bullying, Skills Strategy, Non-advanced vocational skills
Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance MSP
Employability for 16-24 year olds, Ministerial oversight of Skills Development Scotland (SDS) activity , Engagement with employers and employer bodies on youth employment, Engagement with DWP, third sector bodies and local authorities on support for young people, Coordinating cross government activity to support young people into work.
Minister for Parliamentary Business Joe FitzPatrick MSP
Management of Government's interests in the Parliament, liaison between Ministers and the Parliamentary Group.
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham MSP
Community safety and anti-social behaviour, Sectarianism, Violence, Human rights, Drugs, Civil law, Charity law, Fire and rescue, Religious and Faith Organisations
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse MSP
Forestry Commission Scotland, Biodiversity, Crofting, National Parks and Environmental Justice, Flooding, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Aquaculture
Minister for Transport and Veterans Keith Brown MSP
Transport Policy, Transport Delivery, Public Transport, Roads, Rail Services, Air and Ferry Services, Veterans
Minister for Housing and Welfare Margaret Burgess MSP
Housing, communities, anti-poverty measures and welfare
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison MSP
Sport, Commonwealth Games, Obesity, Physical Activity
Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson MSP
Public Health, Health Protection, Dentistry, Healthy Working Lives, Sexual Health, Child & Maternal Health, Medical Records, Adult Care and Support, Drug Misuse, Social Inclusion
Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf MSP
Europe, external affairs, international development, culture and the arts, broadcasting, architecture, built heritage, Historic Scotland and lottery funding, National Records of Scotland, major events strategy.
Lord Advocate Rt Hon Frank Mulholland QC
Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC