In the biggest reshuffle since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Nicola Sturgeon has announced major changes to her cabinet.
While Sturgeon’s core team of cabinet secretaries had been unchanged since the Holyrood election in May 2016, this reshuffle has seen Cabinet Secretaries, Angela Constance, Shona Robison and Keith Brown and Junior Ministers Maureen Watt, Alasdair Allan and Annabelle Ewing leave their posts.
This reshuffle is defined by two factors – the overall increase in posts in the government, and the introduction of a large cohort of younger MSPs. The generation that voted ‘yes’ in the largest numbers now has a significant foothold in the Scottish Government.
My hot take on the #reshuffle is that really good young talent has been given the nod. The generation that voted yes in the largest numbers now has a real foothold in government.
— Luke Skipper (@LJ_Skipper) June 27, 2018
Newly appointed SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown MSP has stepped down from his role as Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work and has been appointed as the SNP’s “Dedicated Campaign Director.” He will be responsible for policy development, preparation for a possible snap general election and “building the case for Scotland to become an independent country.” He will be the SNP’s first dedicated depute leader in a decade.
Five new Cabinet Secretaries have been appointed, with the overall size of the new gender balanced Cabinet increasing to twelve. Transport has been elevated to a Cabinet Secretary Position and the role of Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations has been created.
Changes have also been made to the portfolios of Cabinet members, with the Economy and Finance briefs being merged and the Social Security role being expanded to include Older people. The expansion of the size and importance of the economy briefing is notable and shows the increasing importance of the brief.
Jeane Freeman has been promoted to take over the expanded Health portfolio after overseeing the early development of the as of yet untested new social security system in Scotland.
Five new ministerial roles have been created (Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands; Minister for Public Finance and the Digital Economy; Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation; Minister for Older People and Equalities and Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment).
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills replaces the role of Minister for Employability and Training and will report to both the Education and Economy portfolios. The former role of Minister for Childcare and Early Years has been expanded and renamed to Minister of Children and Young People.
In total nine new faces join the Cabinet as Junior Ministers, bringing the total number of those in an official government role to 26. With 62 SNP MSPs in total, 42% of their MSPs now have an official role in the Government.
The reshuffle will also bring some major changes to committees as previous members and conveners, notable Graeme Dey (former convener of the Environment committee), Christina McKelvie (former convener of the Equalities and Human Rights committee) and Clare Haughey (former convener of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee) with their promotion as Ministers.
The new Cabinet is as follows:
Humza Yousaf has been promoted from Minister for Transport and the Islands to Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Supported by:
- Minister for Community Safety (Previously Community Safety and Legal Affairs): Ash Denham
Jeane Freeman has been promoted from Minister for Social Security to Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport. Supported by:
- Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing (Previously Public Health and Sport): Joe FitzPatrick
- Minister for Mental Health: Clare Haughey
Shirley-Anne Somerville has been promoted from Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science to Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People. Supported by:
- Minister for Older People and Equalities (New Role): Christina McKelvie
Aileen Campbell has been promoted from Minister for Public Health and Sport to Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government. Supported by:
- Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning (Previously Local Government and Housing): Kevin Stewart
Derek Mackay’s role has changed from Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work. Supported by:
- Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills (Who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills): Jamie Hepburn
- Minister for Public Finance and the Digital Economy (New Role): Kate Forbes
- Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation (New Role): Ivan McKee
Michael Matheson will move from being the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. Supported by:
- Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands. (New Role): Paul Wheelhouse
Michael Russell will join the Cabinet with responsibility for Government Business and Constitutional Relations. Supported by:
- Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans (Expanded Role to include Veterans): Graeme Dey
John Swinney will continue as Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. Supported by:
- Minister for Children and Young People (Previously Childcare and Early Years): Maree Todd
- Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills (who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work): Jamie Hepburn
Fergus Ewing will continue as Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy. Supported by:
- Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment (who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.) (New Role): Mairi Gougeon
Roseanna Cunningham will continue as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Supported by:
- Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment (who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy.) (New Role): Mairi Gougeon
Fiona Hyslop will continue as Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Relations. Supported by:
- Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development (previously Minister for International Development and Europe): Ben Macpherson