Nicola Sturgeon's new Scottish cabinet

Written by Jenni Davidson on 18 May 2016 in Inside Politics

Nicola Sturgeon has chosen her new cabinet with John Swinney moving from finance to education

Nicola Sturgeon has announced her new cabinet. John Swinney retains his role as deputy first minister, but moves from finance to education.

Swinney is the longest running member of the Scottish Government apart from Sturgeon herself, having held the finance secretary post since 2007.

Former transport minister Derek Mackay will take over Swinney’s role in finance.

With the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament, economy has now become a separate role from finance and Keith Brown, who previously held the role of cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities since 2014.


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Richard Lochhead’s former post of rural affairs, food and environment has also been split into two, with Roseanna Cunningham moving from fair work to environment, climate change and land reform. Cunningham has previously held the role of minister for the environment in 2009, adding climate change in 2010.

The other half of Lochhead’s brief goes to Fergus Ewing, who will have responsibility for the rural economy and connectivity.

Former education secretary Angela Constance moves to communities, social security and equalities, a role that will be more significant in this parliament with the new welfare powers coming to the parliament under the Scotland Act 2015.

Three cabinet secretaries will continue their roles from the last parliament: Shona Robison retains her role as health secretary, Fiona Hyslop continues to cover culture and Michael Matheson holds onto justice.

Two positions have ceased to exist, infrastructure, investment and cities, and fair work and skills, with fair work now part of economy and skills now part of education, while two others, finance and environment, have been split into two cabinet secretary positions.

As with the last Scottish Government, the new cabinet has a 50/50 male and female split, with the two male cabinet members who have stood down, Richard Lochhead and Alex Neil, replaced by Derek Mackay and Fergus Ewing. All the female members of the cabinet are the same as in the last parliament.


Scottish Cabinet

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

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution – Derek Mackay

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport – Shona Robison

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

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

Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities – Angela Constance

Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Michael Matheson

Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work – Keith Brown

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity – Fergus Ewing



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