John Swinney drops minister for independence role

Kate Forbes was appointed deputy First Minister.

John Swinney drops minister for independence role Getty Images

John Swinney has dropped the post of minister for independence in his first ministerial team.

Jamie Hepburn, who previously held the post, takes over from George Adam as minister for parliamentary business.

The role of minister for independence, the first of its kind, was created by previous first minister Humza Yousaf when he appointed his first team last year.

The team of 14 ministers was announced late on Wednesday evening after Mr Swinney announced Cabinet appointments earlier in the day.

First Minister John Swinney has revealed his Scottish Government Cabinet.Scottish Government

Mr Swinney announced a largely unchanged Cabinet team on Wednesday, though Kate Forbes replaces Shona Robison as deputy First Minister, with Ms Robison remaining Finance Secretary.

Earlier this week Mr Swinney said he would “seek, with respect and courtesy, to persuade people of the case for independence”.

Later on Thursday, Mr Swinney will take part in First Minister’s Questions as First Minister for the first time.

In the junior ministerial team Ivan McKee has returned to government as minister for public finance while minister for equalities, migration and refugees Emma Roddick, and minister for local government empowerment and planning Joe Fitzpatrick have stepped down from their previous roles.

Consisting of 11 Cabinet secretaries, including the First Minister, the Scottish Cabinet is supported by 14 ministers, reducing the size of the Scottish Government by four since the start of the year.

Richard Lochhead is minister for business while Tom Arthur is minister for employment and investment, and Natalie Don is minister for children, young people and The Promise and Graeme Dey is minister for higher and further education.

Siobhian Brown is minister for victims and community safety and Gillian Martin is minister for climate action, while Jim Fairlie is minister for agriculture and connectivity.

The minister for public health and women’s health is Jenni Minto while Maree Todd is minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport and Christina McKelvie is minister for drugs and alcohol policy, the minister for equalities is Kaukab Stewart and Paul McLennan is minister for housing.

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