Paul McLennan remains in post but no cabinet position for housing

Paul McLennan remains in post but no cabinet position for housing

Housing minister Paul McLennan

Paul McLennan has retained his post as housing minister after John Swinney announced a new Scottish cabinet and ministerial team but the new First Minister has resisted calls to make housing a cabinet-level post.

Shelter Scotland was among the organisations to urge Mr Swinney to give housing a dedicated seat at the cabinet table.

For the charity, a cabinet-level post dedicated to housing was essential in ensuring the needs of those suffering in the housing emergency were heard and represented at the highest levels of government.

However, following the reshuffle, housing remains under the auspices of the cabinet secretary for social justice, a post retained by Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Mr Swinney’s new cabinet will be supported by 14 ministers, a reduction of four since the start of the year.

Ivan McKee has returned to government as minister for public finance. Minister for parliamentary business George Adam, minister for equalities, migration and refugees Emma Roddick, and minister for local government empowerment & planning Joe FitzPatrick have stepped down from their previous roles.

Unveiling his new cabinet yesterday, Mr Swinney said his team will help drive real and urgent progress in eradicating child poverty, driving economic growth, and tackling the climate emergency.

The full cabinet and ministers is as follows:

First Minister John Swinney

Minister for parliamentary business Jamie Hepburn

Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for economy and Gaelic Kate Forbes

Minister for business Richard Lochhead

Minister for employment and investment Tom Arthur

Cabinet secretary for finance and local government Shona Robison

Minister for public finance Ivan McKee

Cabinet secretary for education and skills Jenny Gilruth

Minister for children, young people and The Promise Natalie Don

Minister for higher and further education; and minister for Veterans Graeme Dey

Cabinet secretary for justice and home affairs Angela Constance

Minister for Victims and Community Safety Siobhian Brown

Cabinet secretary for net zero and energy Màiri McAllan

Minister for climate action Gillian Martin

Cabinet secretary for transport Fiona Hyslop

Minister for agriculture and connectivity Jim Fairlie (reporting jointly to the cabinet secretary for rural affairs, land reform and islands)

Cabinet secretary for health and social care Neil Gray

Minister for public health and women’s health Jenni Minto

Minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport Maree Todd

Minister for drugs and alcohol policy Christina McKelvie

Cabinet secretary for social justice Shirley-Anne Somerville

Minister for equalities Kaukab Stewart

Minister for housing Paul McLennan

Cabinet secretary for constitution, external affairs and culture Angus Robertson

Cabinet secretary for rural affairs, land reform and islands Mairi Gougeon

Minister for agriculture and connectivity Jim Fairlie (reporting jointly to the cabinet secretary for transport)

Parliament will be asked to approve the new Ministerial appointments. A detailed breakdown of ministerial responsibilities will be published in due course.

The First Minister said: “Ahead of my appointment as First Minister, I committed to working collaboratively across the parliament to address the pressing issues facing the people of Scotland.

“With that in mind, I have selected a cabinet team that blends experience and energy, with a strong focus on the priorities my government will pursue – eradicating child poverty, driving economic growth, meeting climate obligations and investing in our vital public services.

“My overriding priority will be to work to eradicate child poverty in Scotland, an issue on which real progress has been made through measures such as the Scottish Child Payment. The government I lead will maximise every lever at our disposal to tackle the scourge of poverty in our country.

“A strong economy supports the delivery of services on which people depend – health, education, housing, and transport – and so each of these areas are aligned to distinct roles in my cabinet, with a focus on ensuring people see their lives improve as a result of the actions of their Scottish Government.

“I believe that Scotland’s future is best served as an independent country – but I recognise more people need to be convinced of that before independence can be achieved. My cabinet will also focus efforts on reaching out to those who remain unconvinced, with respect and courtesy, to ensure that the people of Scotland have the democratic right to choose their own future.”

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “We congratulate Paul McLennan in his continued role as the Scottish Government’s Minister for Housing. While this will offer continuity of policy, the Minister must use this as an opportunity to form a new relationship with the sector, listen to the needs of property agents and landlords and offer new policy initiatives that will boost supply of private rented accommodation in Scotland.”

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