New Minister announced

Elena Whitham to lead community safety in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has asked Elena Whitham MSP to join the Scottish Government as Minister for Community Safety.

Ms Whitham’s appointment will be put to Parliament and His Majesty The King, and subject to approval she will take up the post, reporting to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans.

Prior to entering elected politics, Ms Whitham worked in community youth and homelessness roles and ran three businesses as a sole trader, in addition to spending over a decade as a Women’s Aid worker in Ayrshire, supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

More recently, she served as the Depute Leader of East Ayrshire Council and was also COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, where her remit included housing and homelessness.

The First Minister said:

“I would like to thank Ash Regan for her Ministerial contribution to the Scottish Government, most notably in leading new legislation to control the sale and use of fireworks and tackling inequality in the justice system.

“I’m pleased to appoint Elena to her first Ministerial position, which has cross-cutting responsibilities across Scotland’s fire service, our justice system, and the prevention of violence against women and girls.

“I’m confident Elena’s professional and personal experience will stand her in good stead for this role and I look forward to working with her to improve the safety of communities across the country.”



New Ministerial Appointments are subject to formal confirmation and acceptance by Parliament and His Majesty the King.


The Minister for Community Safety supports the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans. Specific responsibilities of the role include:

  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Community safety
  • Civil Law and Tribunals
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Legal profession
  • Legal regulation
  • Access to Justice
  • Legal Aid Fund
  • Scottish Law Commission Bills
  • Strategic Approach to Women in the Justice System
  • Violence against women, prostitution and misogynistic harassment
  • Control of dogs including review of the Dangerous Dog Act
  • Alcohol licensing
  • Fireworks
  • Human Trafficking


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