Forbes given finance mega brief in new Scots Cabinet

Kate Forbes

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced her new Cabinet line-up following the recent election, with Kate Forbes taking on a much-expanded brief as Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy.

Forbes’ new mega brief includes “responsibility for the Scottish Budget, fiscal policy and taxation, economic strategy, the wellbeing economy, trade and inward investment, city and regional growth deals, enterprise and the digital economy.”

This follows the reappointment of John Swinney as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery.

Sturgeon said: “I’m delighted to announce the Scottish Government’s new Cabinet team.

“Scotland needs a serious Government for the serious times we face as a nation, and in the top level ministerial line-up I have announced today we have exactly that.

“It is a Government which will drive Scotland forward, as we look to build a just, fair and sustainable recovery from the Covid pandemic.

“My Cabinet team combines experience with new arrivals and fresh faces, giving us the range and depth of talent we need to tackle the pressing issues we need to tackle, from covid to climate change.

“This term of office is unquestionably the most important one the nation has faced since devolution, more than 20 years ago.

“We are dealing with the joint challenges of a global pandemic and recovery from it, the ongoing tests posed by Brexit and the urgent, pressing need to take forward our net zero agenda as part of the global efforts to secure a greener future.

“The magnitude of these challenges is clear, but now is not a moment to shirk from those tasks but to embrace them.

“In the next five years, we have a chance to shape Scotland permanently for the better, creating a healthier, happier, fairer, more prosperous and more sustainable country for everyone who calls Scotland home, establishing a positive legacy for future generations.

“The immediate challenge is the focus on recovery and the part that all policy portfolios can play in that. But, as I have made clear, when the crisis is over and the time is right, Scotland must and will have the chance to choose its future in line with the unquestionable democratic mandate for that choice.”

Humza Yousaf becomes Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, with responsibility for the NHS, including ongoing health service remobilisation as we move out of the pandemic.

Yousaf’s portfolio will also cover the establishment of the National Care Service.

Shirley-Anne Somerville becomes Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, taking forward work on Covid recovery within the education system, as well as continuing the Government’s mission to further close the attainment gap.

Michael Matheson takes on a new role as Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport. The portfolio brings together cross government responsibility for coordination of Net Zero policy, encompassing transport, environmental protection, energy and COP26 delivery.

Keith Brown becomes the new Cabinet Secretary for Justice, with responsibility for reform of the justice system as well as work to reduce reoffending.

Shona Robison is appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, tasked with reducing child poverty as well as work to deliver 100,000 affordable homes.

Mairi Gougeon becomes Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands. The post includes responsibility for agriculture, food and drink policy, fisheries and aquaculture as well as cross-government coordination of policies for island communities.

Angus Robertson is appointed as Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture. The portfolio covers constitutional policy, cross-government coordination of European and wider external relations, including post-Brexit relations.

UPDATE:

Full Ministerial team confirmed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon completed appointments to her new ministerial team.

Consisting of 10 Cabinet Secretaries, including the First Minister, the Scottish Cabinet will be supported by 15 Junior Ministers.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon
Minister for Drugs Policy, Angela Constance

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, John Swinney
Minister for Parliamentary Business, George Adam

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes
Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work (who will also work alongside the Net Zero Secretary), Richard Lochhead
Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee
Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Tom Arthur

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf
Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, Maree Todd
Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville
Minister for Children and Young People, Clare Haughey
Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson
Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform (who will also work alongside the Rural Affairs Secretary), Mairi McAllan
Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Keith Brown
Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Shona Robison
Minister for Equalities and Older People, Christina McKelvie
Minister for Social Security and Local Government, Ben MacPherson

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon

Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Angus Robertson
Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, Jenny Gilruth

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.