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Reaction to New Scottish Cabinet

First Minster, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced her new cabinet, replacing and shuffling around Ministers. The SNP ruled out a coalition with independence supporting Scottish Greens and will now go ahead with minority government.

Image Credit Scottish Government

Reaction to the New Cabinet

Speaking on behalf of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), Tavish Scott has welcomed the appointment of Mairi Gougeon on becoming the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands. He has also paid tribute to the outgoing Minister Fergus Ewing.

Tavish Scott commented on the positive relationship the sector had with Fergus Ewing over several years and his “can-do attitude” , ” drive and enthusiasm”.

Tavish Scott said:

“The Scottish salmon sector looks forward to working with Ms Gougeon. The Scottish Government has been hugely supportive of fish farming in our commitments to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to lead the Covid-19 recovery as Scotland’s largest food export.

“I will be asking for an early meeting with Ms Gougeon so we can start work on the SNP’s welcome manifesto commitment to regulatory reform and the myriad of other pressing issues affecting our members.

“It is particularly important that this manifesto commitment is in the 100 days plan that the First Minister has already announced and I look forward to working with our new Cabinet Secretary on that important change agenda.”

Martin Kennedy President of Scotland’s National Farming Union (NFUS) commented that the appointment of Mairi Gougeon would bring, “a fresh dynamic at a pivotal time for our industry”.

“We are emerging into a post-CAP, post-Brexit, post-pandemic era where the Scottish Government has a unique opportunity to put the nation’s farming and food industries at the very heart of our green recovery and our response to addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity in Scotland. 

“Specifically on Scotland’s future agricultural policy, we look forward to working again with Mairi Gougeon as she sets up the integrated implementation board to drive forward the recent recommendations of the farmer-led climate change groups.

“We are keen to drive forward the excellent work recently undertaken by the five groups – Hill, Upland and Crofting; Suckler Beef; Arable; Dairy and Pigs – and hope to meet with the Cabinet Secretary and her new team once they have settled into post.” “A blueprint for sustainable and integrated farming and crofting activity in the hills and uplands of Scotland”

Martin Kennedy also paid tribute to Fergus Ewing.

He said:

“Any requests for communication or action on any topic have been met with a quick response.  We may not have been 100 percent in agreement on all issues but that is the nature of politics and it is clear to us that our industry held Fergus in high regard.

“ Fergus was always very supportive of Scottish food and farming and made himself freely available to meet with farmers, crofters and stakeholders, regardless of the issue or crisis.  As an attendee at numerous board and committee meetings over the years, and a regular visitor to many farms, crofts and shows, he was a Cabinet Secretary genuinely interested in the farming industry and who always sought to deliver an outcome that would help all farmers and crofters.

“His decision to create farmer-led climate change groups to give farmers and crofters a clear say in setting their future roadmap to a sustainable and profitable future provides a legacy that we will look to our new Cabinet Secretary and her team to drive forward with a degree of urgency.”  

Orkney constituency Liam McArthur, LibDem, has written a joint letter with his Shetland colleague Beatrice Wishart, to John Swinney in his new role as Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, stressing the need to include “the needs of our islands are front and centre of government thinking”.

The letter states:

“Throughout the pandemic, there has been a frustration in the communities we represent that island needs have appeared to be an afterthought in Scottish Government decision making processes. Announcements have been made with a wealth of detail about restrictions affecting central belt communities, while failing to include any mention of important differences for island communities working under different rules.

“This has often created confusion, not helped by the recent consultation on the easing of restrictions in the islands which was ill-conceived, poorly constructed and the responses ultimately ignored by the government.

“As we look ahead to dealing with the impacts of the pandemic and shaping the recovery, it is important that this work fully reflects the islands dimension. We seek assurances, therefore, that  steps will be taken to ensure that this happens. Close collaboration with locally elected representatives, including the island authorities, will be important but we would encourage you and your officials to look at other ways of making sure this happens from the outset.”

Listed below are the 10 Cabinet Secretaries and the Junior Ministers who will work in their departments

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

  • Minister for Drugs Policy, Angela Constance

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid RecoveryJohn 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

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

Related article:

“A blueprint for sustainable and integrated farming and crofting activity in the hills and uplands of Scotland”

1 reply »

  1. A cabinet of all the talents. Lets see how many election promises they honour.
    Going on past performance, precious few I would predict, while Boris has already achieved over 50 percent of his.

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