Sturgeon unveils new Cabinet team

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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The new Scottish Cabinet has been unveiled by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Sturgeon revealed her new team, which has a 50-50 gender split, at an event in Edinburgh just two days after becoming leader of the Government.

John Swinney has been appointed Deputy First Minister, and also retains his brief as Finance Secretary.

Michael Russell has made way for Angela Constance as the new Education Secretary, and Michael Matheson takes over from Kenny MacAskill with the justice portfolio.

Former sports secretary Shona Robison has been promoted to Health Secretary, with Alex Neil moving to the role of Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights.

Former legal affairs minister Roseanna Cunningham is now Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, while ex-transport minister Keith Brown takes on the role of Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities.

Richard Lochhead and Fiona Hyslop are staying on in their roles as Environment Secretary and Culture Secretary respectively.

Revealing her Cabinet at her official residence Bute House, Ms Sturgeon said: “This new Cabinet is a team of all the talents, which will take forward this Government’s priorities for Scotland.

“The aims of my Government are clear: to create a nation that is both socially democratic and socially just, a nation that is confident in itself and governed effectively and a nation which will address poverty, support business, promote growth and tackle inequality.

“The new Cabinet team I have announced today will pursue these priorities with verve, vigour and determination.”

Ms Sturgeon pledged to deliver on gender equality when she became Scotland’s first female First Minister earlier this week.

“Every member of the Cabinet is part of this Government’s top team on merit, on the basis of the excellent work they have already done as ministers.

“The Cabinet line-up is also a clear demonstration that this Government will work hard in all areas to promote women, to create gender equality and it sends out a strong message that we will start the business of redressing the gender balance in public life, starting right here in Government.

“I said earlier this week that we will be 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.”

Commenting on the departure of long-serving members Mr Russell and Mr MacAskill, she added: “I also want to take the opportunity to thank outgoing cabinet secretaries Kenny MacAskill and Mike Russell for their sterling work in government.

“I am confident that we are now equipped with the men and women who will go forward and deliver on these aspirations to create a better Scotland.”

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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