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Forbes’ brief expanded as new Cabinet unveiled

Kate Forbes delivering Scottish budget

Kate Forbes will add the economy to her finance portfolio

Kate Forbes takes on an expanded brief as cabinet secretary for finance and the economy in the new Scottish Cabinet.

She takes responsibility for the budget, fiscal policy and taxation.

Ms Forbes will also be the cabinet secretary in charge of economic strategy, the wellbeing economy, trade and inward investment, city and regional growth deals, enterprise and the digital economy.

As announced earlier, Fiona Hyslop, former Economy Secretary, and Fergus Ewing, Rural Affairs, have left the government and John Swinney has been given a new cross-departmental role leading the Covid recovery.

The new cabinet:

  • Nicola Sturgeon – First Minister
  • John Swinney – Deputy First Minister and Covid recovery
  • Kate Forbes – Finance and the Economy
  • Humza Yousaf – Health and Social Care
  • Shirley-Anne Somerville – Education and Skills
  • Michael Matheson -Net Zero, Energy and Transport
  • Keith Brown – Justice
  • Shona Robison – Social Justice, Housing and Local Government
  • Angus Robertson – Constitution, External Affairs and Culture
  • Mairi Gougeon – Rural Affairs and Islands

Among the junior ministerial roles, Jamie Hepburn is moved from business minister to further and higher education. He swaps places with Richard Lochhead, who becomes minister for just transition, employment and fair work

Ivan McKee, trade minister in the last parliament, had been predicted to gain a promotion but remains in his role.

Kevin Stewart, previously housing, moves to minister for mental wellbeing and social care

Other junior appointments were as follows:

  • Maree Todd, previouly children’s minister, becomes minister for public health, women’s health and sport
  • Mairi McAllan, who was part of Ms Sturgeon’s team of special advisers, becomes minister for environment, biodiversity and land reform.
  • Clare Haughey, previously mental health minister, becomes minister for children and young people
  • George Adam, who has been an MSP since 2011 and was the SNP group chief whip at Holyrood, is appointed minister for parliamentary business
  • Thomas Arthur, who had been deputy whip, was given the role of public finance minister
  • Graeme Dey, who had been veterans minister and parliamentary business minister, is the new transport minister
  • Ben MacPherson, who was rural affairs and environment minister, is now social security and local government
  • Angela Constance remains as drugs minister
  • Ash Denham remains community safety minister
  • Christina McKelvie remains minister for equalities and older people
  • Jenny Gilruth remains minister for Europe and international development.

See also: Civil service jobs heading out of London as Johnson boosts ‘union bond’



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