Richard Lochhead nominated as new Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science
Announcing the decision, Sturgeon said Lochhead, who previously served as Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, would bring “significant experience to the role"
Image credit: David Anderson
Nicola Sturgeon has announced Richard Lochhead as her choice to become Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.
With the First Minister forced to withdraw her nomination of Gillian Martin for the post over “offensive and inappropriate” blog posts she wrote while employed as a college lecturer, the position was left unfilled over the summer recess.
Announcing the decision, Sturgeon said Lochhead, who previously served as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, would bring “significant experience to the role”.
The FM said: “He has been a hugely successful campaigning MSP in parliament over the last two years, particularly over the issue of delivery charges, and I know he will bring that energy and drive into government.
“As a minister he will work to deliver our ambitious agenda to widen access to education, support our world leading universities and promote opportunities for young people to realise their full potential including through science, technology, engineering and maths.
“Subject to parliament’s approval next week this appointment completes the ministerial team for the coming parliamentary year that will deliver on Scotland’s ambition and continue to deal with the challenges posed by Brexit.”
The Scottish Government said Lochhead will be able to undertake some ministerial duties immediately and will be put forward for approval by parliament next week.
He said: “Two years ago, I stepped back from government. That was the right decision for my family at the time. Now, I am honoured and privileged to be asked to rejoin the Scottish Government ministerial team.
“The further education, higher education and science role is an exciting opportunity not just to help shape one of the underpinning economic strengths of Scotland but also deliver on our ambitions for a fairer country. We owe that to our young people and our adult learners. I look forward to getting to grips with this challenging and important agenda.”
Lochhead was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003 through the North East regional list.
During the second session of Parliament he stood down from his regional seat and was elected as constituency MSP for Moray in the by-election in April 2006.
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