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by Louise Wilson
11 March 2022
Neil Gray appointed Ukraine refugee minister

Neil Gray appointed Ukraine refugee minister

Scottish government minister Neil Gray has been given specific responsibility for supporting Ukrainian refugees.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the explicit expansion of his remit was to ensure the Scottish Government’s response was “coordinated” in response to the “unprecedented crisis”.

Gray will work with local authorities, the third sector and other agencies to provide help to those coming to Scotland from the eastern European country.

He will also engage with the UK government on a UK-wide humanitarian response.

He said: “The Scottish Government is already bringing together key partners, like COSLA, the Scottish Refugee Council and Police Scotland, to coordinate plans and address the practical challenges of resettling Ukrainians here.

“With my additional responsibilities I will endeavour to ensure a swift, co-ordinated and focussed government response to the needs of the Ukrainians who seek sanctuary in our country.”

Gray became the Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development in January following the resignation of Graeme Dey as transport minister, which sparked a mini-reshuffle.

He was elected as an MSP last year, having resigned as an MP to contest the Scottish Parliament elections.

Sturgeon said: “Given the gravity, and urgent, nature of the situation, it is right that this Government has a Minister with specific responsibilities for refugees from Ukraine who will be arriving in Scotland and need support to rebuild their lives.”

Gray will report directly to the First Minister on the issue, and will work alongside the external affairs secretary, Angus Robertson, and the social justice secretary, Shona Robison.

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