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by Louise Wilson
30 August 2021
Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater promoted to ministers

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Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater promoted to ministers

The intention to appoint Scottish Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater as junior ministers has been confirmed.

Harvie is to become the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights.

Slater will be the new Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity.

Both appointments will be put to the Scottish Parliament for a vote on Tuesday, but this is only a formality as together the SNP and Greens have a majority.

It follows Scottish Green members overwhelmingly backing the cooperation agreement with the SNP at the weekend.

Confirming the appointments, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have massive challenges to overcome: a global pandemic and its lasting effects, the climate emergency and the assault by the UK government on the powers of our parliament.

“Patrick and Lorna’s roles in government are rightly at the heart of facing up to them, and the expertise and passion they bring with them will contribute greatly to defining Scotland’s path forward in doing so.”

Harvie will work under Shona Robison and Michael Matheson in the housing and net-zero portfolios.

He will focus on improving the rights of tenants, energy efficiency and building standards.

He said: “I am thrilled at the opportunity to drive forward policies that enhance peoples’ lives while supporting the urgent goal of tackling the climate emergency as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Slater will be working under both Matheson and finance secretary Kate Forbes, focusing on retraining and reskilling, the circular economy and designating a new national park.

She said: “Any transition to net zero must be just, and my focus will be on delivering policies that support our workforce and wider economy through that change.”

The Scottish Conservatives have already announced their intention to oppose the appointments. Murdo Fraser MSP said: “By offering the extremist Green Party a seat at the table, Nicola Sturgeon has shown her desperate position after failing to secure a majority in the last election.”

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