Shona Robison named cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has appointed Shona Robison as cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government.

Shona Robison named cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government

The former health secretary will be tasked with reducing child poverty as well as work to deliver 100,000 affordable homes.

Her ministerial team will include Christina McKelvie, as minister for equalities and older people, and new minister for social security and local government, Ben MacPherson.

Former housing minister Kevin Stewart has been given responsibility for mental wellbeing and social care, working with cabinet secretary for health and social care Humza Yousaf and minister for public health, women’s health and sport, Maree Todd.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, the former cabinet secretary for social security, becomes cabinet secretary for education and skills, where she will work closely with minister for children and young people Clare Haughey and minister for higher education and further education, youth employment and training, Jamie Hepburn.

Dropping infrastructure and connectivity from his previous title, Michael Matheson moves to the new role of cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport. Working with minister for environment, biodiversity and land reform Mairi McAllan (who will also work alongside the rural affairs and islands secretary Mairi Gougeon), and minister for transport Graeme Dey, Mr Matheson’s new portfolio brings together cross government responsibility for coordination of net zero policy, encompassing transport, environmental protection, energy and COP26 delivery.

Elsewhere, John Swinney was named as deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for covid recovery, Kate Forbes takes on an expanded brief as cabinet secretary for finance and the economy, Keith Brown becomes the new cabinet secretary for justice, while Angus Robertson is appointed as cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture. 

The First Minister 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.”  

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