New ministerial line-up unveiled

“Team of all the talents” – Cabinet has 50-50 gender split

The Scottish Government's new Cabinet has today been announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, subject to the necessary parliamentary agreement.

As the First Minister unveiled her new Cabinet, she made it clear she was taking the opportunity to make progress on equal representation for women by achieving it first in her own Cabinet appointments. In a Cabinet comprising the First Minister and nine Cabinet Secretaries, half will be women. The number of women in the Government overall now exceeds 40 per cent for the first time.

The First Minister also announced arrangements to cover the first occasion in the lifetime of the Scottish Government when a Minister will take maternity leave.

The First Minister said:

“This new Cabinet is a team of all the talents, which will take forward this Government’s priorities for Scotland.

“The aims of my government are clear: to create a nation that is both social democratic and socially just, a nation that is confident in itself and governed effectively and a nation which will address poverty, support business, promote growth and tackle inequality.

"The new Cabinet team I have announced today will pursue these priorities with verve, vigour and determination.

“Every member of the Cabinet is part of this Government’s top team on merit, on the basis of the excellent work they have already done as Ministers. The Cabinet line-up is also a clear demonstration that this Government will work hard in all areas to promote women, to create gender equality and it sends out a strong message that the business of redressing the gender balance in public life starts right here in Government.

“I said earlier this week that we will be leading by example on equal representation, and encourage others to follow by addressing low pay and improving childcare. The Cabinet appointments I have made today will ensure these issues have the highest priority.

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank outgoing Cabinet Secretaries Kenny MacAskill and Mike Russell for their sterling work in government.

“I am confident that we are now equipped with the men and women who will go forward and deliver on these aspirations to create a better Scotland.”

The full list of Cabinet appointments are:

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy – John Swinney MSP.

Deputising for the First Minister – the constitution – the National Performance Framework – government strategy, reform, delivery and outcomes across portfolios, cross government implementation of Scotland’s Digital Future and relations with other UK administrations.

Scottish Public Finances and their sustainability - the Scottish Economy, fiscal policy, the Scottish Budget, public spending, taxation, budgetary monitoring and reporting, public service reform, public bodies policy, efficient government, public sector pay and pensions.

Business and Industry – enterprise, trade and inward investment, energy and renewable energy, innovation, tourism, business regulation, accountancy and insolvency.

Securing the Government’s parliamentary business – liaising with the parliamentary bureau and MSPs of the government party, open government, including Freedom of Information.



  • Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism – Fergus Ewing MSP
  • Minister for Parliamentary Business – Joe Fitzpatrick MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities – Keith Brown MSP

Infrastructure and capital investment – European structural funds, government procurement, Scottish Futures Trust, Scottish Water, Scotland’s cities, transport policy, public transport, air, rail and ferry services. Scotland’s roads. Cross government co-ordination on Scotland’s islands.

Responsibility for veterans.


  • Minister for Transport and Islands – Derek Mackay MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training – Roseanna Cunningham MSP

Fair work – employment policy, women’s employment, youth employment, the living wage, skills and employment training, implementation of the Wood Commission’s recommendations, Skills Development Scotland.


  • Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment – Annabelle Ewing MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning - Angela Constance MSP

Education – science, higher education and universities, further education and colleges, educational attainment, school standards, quality and improvement, the teaching profession, school infrastructure and staffing, behaviour, measures to combat bullying, qualifications, modern languages, Scottish studies, children’s rights, children’s services, early years, adoption and fostering, child protection, looked after children, children’s hearings, protection of vulnerable groups, social services workforce, youth work, non-advanced vocational skills, the Gaelic and Scots languages.


  • Minister for Children and Young People – Aileen Campbell MSP
  • During Ms Campbell’s maternity cover, Fiona McLeod MSP will serve as acting Minister for Children and Young People
  • Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages – Alasdair Allan MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport – Shona Robison MSP

National Health Service – acute and primary services, patient services, patient safety, medical records, quality strategy, dentistry, allied healthcare services, national service planning, NHS performance, NHS staff and pay.

Health and wellbeing - public health, health protection, child and maternal health, health improvement, sexual health, problem alcohol use and recovery, healthy working lives, adult care and support, carers.

Sport – physical activity and securing the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


  • Minister for Public Health – Maureen Watt MSP
  • Minister for Sport and Health Improvement – Jamie Hepburn MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights – Alex Neil MSP

Social justice – democratic renewal, elections, community empowerment, community planning, local government, planning, building standards, business improvement districts, town centres, housing, welfare, measures against poverty and homelessness, the third sector and the social economy, equality, social and human rights, religious and faith organisations, cross-government co-ordination on pensioners’ rights and welfare.


  • Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment – Marco Biagi MSP
  • Minister for Housing and Welfare – Margaret Burgess MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Michael Matheson MSP

The Justice system – security, access to justice, criminal law and procedure, civil law, the police, the legal profession, courts, sentencing, prisons and prisoners, victims and witnesses, reducing reoffending, youth justice, criminal justice social work, community safety, fire and rescue services, anti-social behaviour, drugs policy, violence reduction, anti-sectarianism, liquor licensing.

  • Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs – Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment – Richard Lochhead MSP

Rural Scotland – land reform, the physical and marine environment, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, food and drink, crofting, sustainable development, biodiversity, natural heritage, environmental protection, flooding, water quality, national parks, environmental and climate justice.


  • Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform – Aileen McLeod MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs – Fiona Hyslop MSP

Culture and the arts – national records, national identity, built heritage, architecture, broadcasting, cross-government co-ordination on European Union and international relations, international development, fair trade, the Scottish diaspora, cross government co-ordination on bringing major events to Scotland.


  • Minister for Europe and International Development – Humza Yousaf MSP

Law Officers

  • Lord Advocate – The Rt Hon Frank Mulholland QC
  • Solicitor General – Lesley Thomson QC
  • The First Minister has confirmed that the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General will continue to serve.

Notes to editors

Photographs of the new cabinet are available on the Scottish Government flickr site

The previous cabinet of the First Minister and eight Cabinet Secretaries was a 40 per cent gender split.

In contrast, in the UK Government, as of the July 2014 Cabinet reshuffle, 25 per cent of serving ministers are women and five women currently hold Cabinet positions. The highest number of female ministers to have ever held Cabinet positions concurrently is eight, in 2007.

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