First Minister completes her ministerial team

Fresh intake joins government.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today nominated nine new ministers for appointment to the Scottish Government.

In a wide-ranging refresh of her ministerial team, the First Minister is bringing frontline experience in a number of key areas, such as health and education, into government.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the following new ministers will be appointed:

  • Clare Haughey, a former mental health nurse who continues to hold an honorary nursing position, will take on the role of Minister for Mental Health
  • Kate Forbes is to become Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, working with the Finance Secretary on managing the Scottish Government budget and on tax policy
  • Ivan McKee, who has wide business experience, will take on the role of Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, building on Scotland’s strong track record of attracting inward investment in recent years and working to boost exports
  • Christina McKelvie is appointed to a new role of Minister for Older People and Equalities, with her responsibilities including disabilities and the protection and development of social and human rights, building on her experience as Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Human Rights and Equalities Committee
  • Mairi Gougeon takes on a new role of Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment – reporting jointly to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
  • Ash Denham is appointed as Minister for Community Safety
  • Ben MacPherson takes on the role of Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development
  • Graeme Dey will become the new Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans, reporting to Michael Russell

Other ministers remain in post with new or additional responsibilities:

  • Joe Fitzpatrick is to become Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing
  • Jamie Hepburn takes on a new, expanded portfolio of Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills – reporting jointly to the Economy Secretary and the Deputy First Minister
  • Paul Wheelhouse becomes Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands – taking forward the government’s key priorities of increasing renewable energy, broadband and islands policy
  • Maree Todd continues her role as Minister for Children and Young People
  • Kevin Stewart continues as Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning

Commenting on the new appointments, the First Minister said:

“The new ministers I am announcing today bring a range of fresh talent to the Scottish Government, ensuring that we are equipped to deal with the challenges and maximise the opportunities facing the people of Scotland.

“The ministerial team represents constituencies the length and breadth of Scotland, coming with a range of professional backgrounds and bringing a breadth of real life experience to their roles.

“For instance, Claire Haughey brings her extensive background as a mental health nurse to the mental health portfolio, Kate Forbes will bring her finance background to bear in her brief and Ivan McKee brings the expertise he has acquired from a highly successful career in business to the role of Trade and Innovation Minister.

“All of the new ministers I have appointed today, have already proven themselves as effective parliamentarians – and I know that they will do likewise in Ministerial office.”


These ministerial nominations follow the announcement yesterday of a new Scottish Government Cabinet.

The appointment of Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science will follow in due course.


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