SNP has to work hard to rebuild trust of Scotland, says John Swinney

The First Minister visited St John’s Hospital in Livingston after being sworn in on Wednesday.

John Swinney has said the SNP has to “work hard to rebuild the trust” of the people of Scotland.

The First Minister spoke to STV News after chairing his first Cabinet meeting since taking up his new role.

Swinney was officially sworn in as Scotland’s seventh first minister on Wednesday and appointed his Cabinet that day.

He visited a number of projects focusing on jobs, NHS and transport on Friday, including the new Cameron Bridge railway station being built in Fife.

It followed a visit to St John’s Hospital in Livingston where he said there was “a lot happening on the ground” to improve the lives of people in Scotland.

He told STV News: “The National Health Service is a precious resource within Scotland and it’s got to deliver when people require that National Health Service and there are countless individuals around the country who are well served by the NHS.

“I saw so many good examples in St John’s Hospital in Livingston of the excellent work of the radiology service, which has taken delivery of a new imaging device, new imaging technology, which is giving higher quality analysis to address the health issues that people in those communities face.

“So, there’s a lot happening on the ground that’s improving the lives of people in Scotland, but I accept that the SNP has got to work hard to rebuild the trust with people in Scotland and to get over the very difficult period that we’ve had.”

Kate Forbes became Scotland’s youngest ever Deputy First Minister this week as Swinney announced a largely unchanged Cabinet team.

Shona Robison, who had been deputy first minister under Humza Yousaf, lost that position but remains in the Cabinet – keeping her finance brief and also taking on responsibility for local government.

Mr Swinney’s Cabinet includes eight women – thought to be the most ever – and two other men.

Neil Gray, who was appointed Health Secretary earlier this year, stays in the post, while Angus Robertson remains Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary.

Former teacher Jenny Gilruth remains Education Secretary, Angela Constance retains her position as Justice Secretary, and Fiona Hyslop continues as Transport Secretary.

Mairi McAllan remains in the Cabinet but with a slightly slimmed down brief – she had been the net zero, wellbeing economy and energy secretary, but now has responsibility for net zero and energy.

Shirley-Anne Sommerville and Mairi Gougeon also continue in their previous roles – as Social Justice Secretary, and Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Secretary respectively.

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