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by Kirsteen Paterson
02 November 2022
Elena Whitham to replace Ash Regan as Community Safety Minister

Elena Whitham MSP

Elena Whitham to replace Ash Regan as Community Safety Minister

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has named Elena Whitham MSP as the replacement for Ash Regan as the new Minister for Community Safety.

Regan quit the ministerial post last week ahead of the vote on the Scottish Government's gender recognition reform plans.

Now Whitham, convenor of the parliament's Social Justice and Social Security Committee, has been selected to step into the role.

Her appointment will be put to the Scottish Parliament and the King before becoming official.

Whitham, the MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, spent much of her childhood in Canada before her family moved back to Scotland. 

She studied journalism and, a keen music fan, was once offered a job with record company Sony.

Prior to entering elected politics, she worked in community youth and homelessness roles and ran three businesses as a sole trader, as well as spending more than a decade as a Women's Aid worker.

She served as depute leader of East Ayrshire Council and was Cosla's community wellbeing spokesperson.

Sturgeon 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."

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