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by Louise Wilson
08 February 2024
Neil Gray becomes new health secretary

Neil Gray has been economy secretary since last year | Alamy

Neil Gray becomes new health secretary

Neil Gray is the new health secretary following the resignation of Michael Matheson.

Previously the economy secretary, Gray was a key supporter of First Minister Humza Yousaf during the SNP leadership contest last summer.

Matheson resigned on Thursday morning, saying he no longer wanted to be a “distraction”.

That follows the revelation last year that he had run up an £11,000 data roaming bill while on a family holiday in Morocco.

Mairi McAllan will now take on responsibility for the economy, combining that with previous portfolio of net zero and just transition.

She loses transport from her brief, with Fiona Hyslop – previously transport minister – being elevated to Cabinet level for that area.

Jim Fairlie enters the Scottish Government for the first time, supporting both Hyslop and rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon as minister for agriculture and connectivity.

Christina McKelvie is the new drugs and alcohol policy minister. She takes over from Elena Whitham, who resigned earlier this week citing mental health reasons.

And Kaukab Stewart moves to the frontbenches, taking over McKelvie’s old role of international development minister.

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