Deputy First Minister

John Swinney MSP



Deputy First Minister / Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery
Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

John Swinney was appointed Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery in May 2021.


The Deputy First Minister forms part of the Scottish Cabinet and is responsible for:

  • government strategy
  • inter-government relations
  • delivery and outcomes across portfolios
  • public service reform
  • National Performance Framework
  • historical abuse inquiry
  • efficient government

The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery is currently covering the Finance and Economy portfolio while the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy is on maternity leave. This includes:

  • Scottish budget, budgetary monitoring and reporting
  • fiscal policy and taxation
  • exchequer and the public finances
  • economic strategy
  • National Strategy for Economic Transformation and Council for Economic Transformation
  • wellbeing economy
  • enterprise agencies
  • employment policy
  • four-day working week
  • Just Transition (with CS Net Zero)
  • Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Scottish Futures Trust (SFT)
  • trade and inward investment
  • Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
  • City and Regional Growth Deals
  • Scottish Fiscal Commission
  • enterprise, innovation and increasing productivity
  • government investments (Prestwick, Fergusons, BiFab)
  • Revenue Scotland
  • Green Jobs Fund
  • Women’s Business Centre
  • Rural Entrepreneur Fund

As the Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, Mr Swinney is responsible for:

  • cross-government co-ordination of Covid Recovery policies
  • cross-government co-ordination on COVID-19 recovery and COVID-19 strategic reviews

Supporting Minister


Born in 1964, he joined the Scottish National Party in 1979 and went on to graduate from Edinburgh University with an MA (Hons) in Politics. He has worked for the Scottish Coal Project, Development Options and Scottish Amicable.

Prior to his election as Westminster MP for North Tayside in 1997, he held a number of posts in the SNP at local and national level. In 1999, he became the MSP for Tayside North, remaining as the constituency's MP until standing down from Westminster at the 2001 General Election.

From 1998 to 2000, he served as deputy leader of the SNP, and then as party leader between 2000 and 2004. He was re-elected as an MSP at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election and appointed Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth. He was appointed as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy in November 2014. In 2016 he was appointed Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

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