New Cabinet appointed

Fresh talent to strengthen Scottish Government. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today appointed a new, refreshed Scottish Government Cabinet.

The new appointments are designed to meet current challenges, introduce new talent and ensure the government is capitalising on all opportunities in taking forward its bold and ambitious programme for Scotland.

Five new Cabinet Secretaries have been appointed, with the overall size of the Cabinet increasing to 12 to reflect the increasing impact of Brexit on Scottish Government business, and ensure direct Cabinet oversight of the operational delivery of a new social security system.

The First Minister has appointed Humza Yousaf as Justice Secretary. Among his other responsibilities, he will lead the delivery of new Hate Crime laws.

Jeane Freeman is promoted to become Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and will continue work to reform the NHS, and prepare it for the future.

Shirley-Anne Somerville has been appointed as a dedicated Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People and will oversee the operational delivery of the first social security payments following the passage of the landmark Social Security Bill.

Aileen Campbell will become Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and lead the Scottish Government’s work to tackle poverty and inequality and, in partnership with councils, take forward plans to reform local governance.

Following the successful establishment of the new Scottish system of Income Tax and with increasing focus on the need for strategic investment to grow the economy, the First Minister has appointed Derek Mackay and Michael Matheson to two key economic posts.

Derek Mackay will become Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and will be supported by a team of ministers including a Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills alongside new posts of Minister for Public Finance and the Digital Economy, and a Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation. 

Michael Matheson will become Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. He will be supported by a new Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, tasked with delivering 100% superfast broadband across Scotland.  Fergus Ewing will continue as Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy.

Michael Russell will join Cabinet with responsibility for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, overseeing the necessary preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU in a way that protects Scotland’s interests and ensures that the Government’s wider programme of work is not affected, and leading discussions with the UK Government as the Brexit process continues.

John Swinney, Roseanna Cunningham and Fiona Hyslop will remain in their current posts, while Keith Brown, Shona Robison and Angela Constance will leave the government.

The new appointments will be put to Parliament for approval on Thursday 28 June.

Unveiling the new Cabinet line-up, the First Minister said:

“The new Cabinet I am announcing today brings fresh talent to the Scottish Government and ensures that we are fully equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the country in the months and years ahead.

“With the impact of Brexit on our economy and wider society, it is right that the issues it presents are fully reflected at Cabinet level, while the delivery of a new Scottish social security system also requires a voice at the Cabinet table.

“Those appointments, together with the reshaped portfolios announced today, mean that people can have confidence that the Scottish Government will continue to deliver for people, public services and communities the length and breadth of the country.

“People already have high trust in the Scottish Government to look after their interests, and I am determined that this new, refreshed Cabinet will continue to repay that trust.

“I would like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to Keith Brown, Shona Robison and Angela Constance who are leaving Cabinet today for the hard work, commitment and dedication they have brought to the Government. Each of them has achievements that they can be proud of and I know that they will all continue to make a strong contribution to the cause of a better Scotland.

“I will shortly be appointing a fully refreshed junior ministerial team, which will also include a number of fresh faces and a wealth of new talent.”       


Junior ministers will be confirmed tomorrow (Wednesday)

A full list of responsibilities follows:

First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon

Head of the Scottish Government.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills: John Swinney

Government strategy, delivery and outcomes across portfolios, resilience, public service reform, school standards, quality and improvement, school infrastructure and staffing, educational attainment, qualifications and closing the attainment gap, the National Improvement Framework, the teaching profession, behaviour and measures to combat bullying, modern languages and the Gaelic and scots languages, named person, non-advanced vocational skills, The Historical Abuse Enquiry, childcare implementation, early years, child protection, adoption and fostering, children's hearings, children's rights, children's services, looked after children, protection of vulnerable groups, social service workforce, further education and colleges, higher education and universities, science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), student funding, youth work, widening access, non-advanced vocational skills, Skills Development Scotland (Scotland’s national skills agency)

Supported by Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science and the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills (who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work).

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work: Derek Mackay

Scottish economy, inclusive growth, managing the public finances, fiscal policy and taxation, Scottish budget, budgetary monitoring and reporting, Government procurement, efficient government, National Performance Framework, public bodies policy, Scottish Futures Trust, Scottish Enterprise - national enterprise agency, trade and inward investment, trade unions, public sector pay, Scottish National Investment Bank, Registers of Scotland, digital economy and digital public services, public sector pensions, Innovation and increasing productivity, internationalisation and European Structural Funds, financial services, life sciences, low carbon economy, business, industry and manufacturing, employment policy, labour market strategy, the living wage and fair work, employability programmes, youth employment (including implementation of the Wood Commission recommendations), women's employment, Bankruptcy and Accountant in Bankruptcy (Scottish government agency), Regional Economic Forums, PACE, Consumer Protection.

Supported by Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation and Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills (who also reports to the Deputy First Minister)

Cabinet Secretary for Justice: Humza Yousaf

Police, courts, sentencing, justice system and criminal law procedure, violence reduction, criminal justice social work, victims, witnesses, female offenders, human rights, prisons and prisoners, reducing reoffending, security, youth justice, community safety, access to justice, anti-sectarianism, anti-social behaviour, civil law, fire and rescue services, liquor licensing, legal profession

Supported by Minister for Community Safety

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs: Fiona Hyslop

International relations, Creative industries, Culture and the arts, Architecture and built heritage, Broadcasting, Tourism, Co-ordination on bringing major events to Scotland, National Records and national identity, Migration policy, International development, Cross government co-ordination on the European Union, Fair Trade, Scottish diaspora.

Supported by Minister for Europe, Migration & International Development

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People: Shirley-Anne Somerville

Welfare policy, social security, measures against poverty (with CSCLG), Best Start Grant (replacing the UK Government’s Sure Start Maternity Grant), Funeral Expense Assistance (replacing the UK Government’s Funeral Payment), Carers Allowance (at which point we will stop paying Carers Allowance Supplement), Young Carers Grant, Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Cold Weather Payments, Winter Fuel Payments, Equalities, the protection and development of social and human rights, Older people,  Disabilities, Cross Government co-ordination of policies in support of women and gender equality.

Supported by Minister for Older People and Equalities

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy: Fergus Ewing

Agriculture and crofting, Fisheries and aquaculture, Food and drink, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Rural Scotland, Forestry, Animal health, South of Scotland Agency.

Supported by Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment (who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform)

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform: Roseanna Cunningham

Climate change and environmental protection, Biodiversity, Crown Estate, Environmental and climate justice, Flood prevention and coastal erosion, Land use and land reform, Animal welfare, Wildlife crime, Water quality and Scottish Water, Marine planning, National Parks and natural heritage, Physical and marine environment, Sustainable development.

Supported by Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment (who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy)

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport: Jeane Freeman

NHS and its performance, staff and pay, Health care and social integration, Patient services and patient safety, Primary care, acute services elective centres, Implementing the 2020 Vision, national clinical strategy, quality strategy and national service planning, Allied Healthcare services, Carers, adult care and support, Child and maternal health, Dentistry, Medical records, health improvement and protection, Public health and healthy working lives, Physical activity, sport, sporting events and events legacy, Problem alcohol use and recovery, and drugs policy, Care Inspectorate, Carers, Child and maternal health, health protection, Person-centred care, Self-directed support, Sexual health, Mental health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Adult support and protection, Autism, sensory impairment and learning difficulties, Dementia, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (safeguards the rights of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions), Survivors of childhood abuse, The State Hospital (Carstairs).

Supported by Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, and Minister for Mental Health

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity: Michael Matheson

Transport and public transport, Infrastructure investment policy, Cities & City Deals, Town centres, Energy and energy consents, Renewable energy industries, Connectivity including 100% broadband, Cross government co-ordination on islands.

Supported by Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government: Aileen Campbell

Social justice, Tackling inequalities, measures against poverty (with CSSS), Community empowerment, devolution to communities and reform of local government, homelessness and regeneration,democratic renewal, Third sector and social economy, Advocacy and advice, Religious and faith organisations, Housing, Local government, Planning, Building standards, Business Improvement Districts, Community planning, fuel poverty.

Supported by Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning

Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations: Michael Russell

The UK’s exit from the European Union, Government and parliamentary business, Constitutional Relations and intra-governmental affairs, Local government elections, Scottish Parliamentary elections, Freedom Of Information and open government, Veterans.

Supported by Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans


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