First Minister confirms new government appointments

Reshuffle combines Economy, Net Zero and Energy in a new portfolio.

Unleashing Scotland’s renewable potential and building Scotland’s economy will be overseen by a single portfolio headed by Màiri McAllan as Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy.

Setting out portfolio changes to the Scottish Government, First Minister Humza Yousaf has appointed Neil Gray as Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, while Transport becomes a standalone portfolio at Cabinet level, with Fiona Hyslop as Cabinet Secretary.

The reshaped Cabinet of ten – the same number as before – will include seven women, believed to be the highest proportion of any government in the world.

Kaukab Stewart becomes the first Woman of Colour to enter the Scottish Government as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, in place of Christina McKelvie, who has been appointed as Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy.

Jim Fairlie will also join the government as Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity.

Parliament will be asked to approve the new appointments of Fiona Hyslop, Kaukab Stewart and Jim Fairlie after recess.

The First Minister said:

“The new, green economy is a massive economic opportunity for Scotland. If we grasp it, we can help the world tackle climate change while delivering well-paid jobs and sustainable growth in Scotland for generations to come. That’s why we will now bring these two portfolios together, and Màiri McAllan is the right person to drive it forward.

“As Economy Secretary, Neil Gray has been widely praised for resetting the relationship with business. Now at the helm of the NHS – our most precious institution – and social care, Neil will be charged with continuing its recovery from Covid, driving down waiting times, and reforming the service to improve outcomes for patients.

“I am elevating Transport to a Cabinet level post in its own right, given the importance of the issues within this portfolio. Fiona Hyslop is one of the most experienced and accomplished ministers in government. I am deeply proud of the fact this means Cabinet will become world-leading with seven out of ten women in it.

“I am proud to bring the first ever Woman of Colour into government in Scotland – I believe another sign of the progress we are making as a nation, with the appointment of Kaukab Stewart as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development. Kaukab takes this role on from Christina McKelvie, who will now report directly to me as Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy.

“And I am delighted to welcome Jim Fairlie to government, who brings a wealth of business and rural knowledge to his new role as Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity.

“These new appointments reflect this government’s priorities and the missions that drive them – equality, opportunity and community – and I look forward to working with them as we continue to deliver for the people of Scotland.”


Fiona Hyslop will be Cabinet Secretary-designate and Kaukab Stewart and Jim Fairlie Ministers-designate until their appointments are formally agreed to by Parliament and approved by His Majesty King Charles III.


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