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by Tom Freeman
21 November 2014
Sturgeon appoints gender-balanced cabinet

Sturgeon appoints gender-balanced cabinet

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reshuffled her cabinet this morning, after appointing John Swinney as her Deputy First Minister. Fifty per cent of the new Cabinet Secretaries are women.

Before making the announcement just after midday, Sturgeon summoned the nine MSPs to Bute House this morning to talk them through their new roles.

“This new Cabinet is a team of all the talents, which will take forward this Government’s priorities for Scotland,” said Sturgeon.

Swinney’s new role is Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy.

Shona Robison, close ally of the First Minister becomes Health Secretary, with Angela Constance taking on the role of Education Secretary. Former Public Health Minister Michael Matheson is promoted to Justice Secretary, with former Transport Minister Keith Brown becoming the new role of Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities. Also getting redefined roles are Alex Neil, who becomes Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights, and Roseanna Cunningham, who is now Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training.

Fiona Hyslop and Richard Lochhead are the only MSPs to retain their previous roles, as Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and for Rural Affairs and Environment respectively.

“I said earlier this week that we will leading by example on equal representation, and encourage others to follow by addressing low pay and improving childcare. The Cabinet appointments I have made today will ensure these issues have the highest priority,” said Sturgeon.

The junior ministerial roles have also been changed to reflect the new Cabinet Secretary roles, and will be appointed later today.

Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie congratulated the new senior ministers and welcomed the gender balance. "Having listened to the First Minister’s call for consensus yesterday I look forward to them supporting Labour’s policies to tackle the many problems that their predecessors have left for them," she said.


  • Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism – Fergus Ewing MSP
  • Minister for Parliamentary Business – Joe Fitzpatrick MSP​
  • Minister for Transport and Islands – Derek Mackay MSP
  • Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment – Annabelle Ewing MSP
  • Minister for Children and Young People – Aileen Campbell MSP
  • During Ms Campbell’s maternity cover, Fiona McLeod MSP will serve as acting Minister for Children and Young People
  • Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages – Alasdair Allan MSP
  • Minister for Public Health – Maureen Watt MSP
  • Minister for Sport and Health Improvement – Jamie Hepburn MSP
  • Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment – Marco Biagi MSP
  • Minister for Housing and Welfare – Margaret Burgess MSP
  • Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs – Paul Wheelhouse MSP
  • Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform – Aileen McLeod MSP
  • Minister for Europe and International Development – Humza Yousaf MSP
  • Law Officers

  • Lord Advocate – Frank Mulholland
  • Solicitor General – Lesley Thompson
  • The First Minister has confirmed that the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General will continue to serve. 
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