MSPs vote to approve Nicola Sturgeon’s new cabinet

The Scottish Parliament voted to approve the new government ministers on Thursday.

MSPs vote to approve Nicola Sturgeon’s new cabinet Getty Images

Holyrood has backed the appointment of Nicola Sturgeon’s new cabinet – despite an attempt by the Liberal Democrats to remove Angus Robertson.

The Scottish Parliament voted to approve the new government ministers on Thursday.

Liberal Democrat MSPs objected to Robertson being appointed as a minister, stating that they do not support the role of Constitution Secretary.

However, their motion failed to gain the backing of any other parties and it was defeated in a vote by 70 to four.

Robertson, a former leader of the SNP’s Westminster group, returned to frontline politics when he was appointed as the Scottish Government’s constitution secretary on Wednesday.

<em>Nicola Sturgeon named Angus Robertson as the new constitution secretary (Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA)</em>” /><span class=

Speaking in favour of his amendment, Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Big, important questions face the country over the coming years, on mental health, the drugs deaths emergency, climate change and educational attainment.

“But for Liberal Democrats the answer to none of these lies in the tired old arguments about currency and borders.

“As such, we believe there should be not one minute of ministerial or civil service time afforded to such a brief.”

First Minister Ms Sturgeon said that the role of constitution secretary is not a new one.

She said: “The constitution is not just about independence, it is about making sure Scotland’s voice is heard in the face of the damaging implications of Brexit and it’s about making sure that Scotland is defended in the face of the Tory power-grab in this Parliament and this Government.

“Independence, and – after Covid has passed – giving the people of Scotland the opportunity to choose independence if that is their wish, is the policy of the Government I lead.

“The Liberal Democrats may disagree with that, that is their right, but that doesn’t change that fact.”

The First Minister earlier said she had appointed a “serious government for the serious time we live in”.

She said Humza Yousaf is stepping into the “enormous shoes” of Jeane Freeman as health secretary.

Remobilising the NHS after coronavirus will be one of the biggest priorities, she said, while establishing a National Care Service will be “perhaps the biggest public service reform in this entire Parliament”.

As well as approving the new ministers, MSPs also selected members of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body.

The cross-party group is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Parliament and supporting MSPs in carrying out their duties.

As well as Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone, the new members of the body are Christine Grahame from the SNP, Jackson Carlaw from the Conservatives, Claire Baker from Labour and Maggie Chapman from the Greens.

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