20 May 2011

Salmond completes ministerial team

The Scottish Government's new Ministerial team has been announced by First Minister Alex Salmond subject to the necessary parliamentary approval.

The number of Ministers is 10 - the same number as in the last parliament.

Like the Cabinet Secretaries and Law Officers, each Minister will take their salary at the level of April 1, 2008 both for their Ministerial and MSP salary.

This pay freeze has already saved the taxpayer over £100,000, rising to nearly £200,000 by the end of this financial year.

Stewart Stevenson, who returns to the Government, will add to this sum by returning the resettlement grant of under £7,000 which he received on leaving last year.

Newcomers to the Ministerial team are:

Michael Matheson (MSP for Falkirk West), who becomes Minister for Public Health, with Shona Robison moving to the Commonwealth Games and Sport brief within the Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy portfolio.

Aileen Campbell (MSP for Clydesdale), who joins the team as Minister for Local Government and Planning in the Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth brief.

Alasdair Allan (MSP for the Western Isles), who becomes Minister for Learning and Skills within Michael Russell's portfolio. Dr Allan will also have responsibility for Gaelic and Scots, and is a fluent speaker of both. Angela Constance moves to the Children and Young People brief within the Education and Lifelong Learning brief.

Brian Adam (MSP for Aberdeen Donside), who joins the team as Chief Whip and Minister for Parliamentary Business.

Other changes are:

Roseanna Cunningham becomes Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs and also has specific responsibility for tackling sectarianism. She moves from Environment and Climate Change.

Fergus Ewing, the previous Community Safety Minister, moves to the post of Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism within John Swinney's portfolio. The previous holder of the post, Jim Mather, stepped down from parliament at the election.

Stewart Stevenson returns to the ministerial team as Minister for Environment and Climate Change. In the last Parliament, Mr Stevenson steered through the Climate Change Act, the most ambitious such legislation anywhere in the world.

Keith Brown retains responsibility for Transport and also adds Housing to his brief, as Minister for Housing and Transport.

Adam Ingram leaves the government from his role as Children and Early Years minister, having successfully steered the Children's Hearing Act through parliament to make Scotland's unique children's panel system fit for the 21st century, among his many achievements.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

"This is an excellent team to take Scotland forward while the overall number of Ministers is unchanged, it blends the tried and trusted team which received such strong public endorsement at the election with significant new talent.

"Aileen Campbell, Michael Matheson and Alasdair Allan represent a new generation who will bring fresh perspective and energy to government just as tried and tested Ministers such as Roseanna Cunningham and Fergus Ewing will rise to the opportunities and challenges of their new portfolios.

"Stewart Stevenson steered Scotland's world-leading climate change legislation through the last parliament, securing consensus right across the chamber, and I am delighted to welcome him back to government in that same role as we turn these ambitious targets into reality.

"I wish to pay tribute to the work of Adam Ingram as Minister for Children and Early Years, whose success in improving the protection of Scotland's most vulnerable children, and modernising Scotland's unique Children's Hearing system, is a lasting legacy which will benefit current and future generations. Adam understands the need within a significantly expanded group to create new opportunities for others to show what they can do for Scotland, and I wish him extremely well for the future as a new constituency member."

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