New SNP Cabinet announced

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SNP Cabinet Announced

Having been formally sworn in as First Minister this morning, Alex Salmond wasted no time in announcing his new Cabinet.

As expected there were no changes to his winning team, though some cabinet secretaries have new responsibilities, and three junior ministers are promoted to full secretary.

Alex Neil joins the Cabinet in a new portfolio of Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Bruce Crawford becomes Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy, and Fiona Hyslop becomes Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.

Among the new responsibilities for the five continuing secretaries is responsibility for Cities’ strategy, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which goes to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

No doubt the Government’s opponents will point out that the last Government had only five cabinet secretaries but the First Minister and eight Cabinet Secretaries compares to ten during the administration of Donald Dewar, and 11 during Henry McLeish’s and Jack McConnell’s terms as FM.

The new Lord Advocate is Frank Mulholland, who steps up from the position of Solicitor General to succeed Elish Angiolini. Noted prosecutor Lesley Thomson is promoted to Solicitor General. Junior Ministers will be announced tomorrow.

In line with the pay freeze taken by the Scottish Government for the past three years, all Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Law Officers will receive the salary that was payable in April, 2008.

Mr Salmond said: “The Scottish Government secured re-election on the basis of a successful team, and I am delighted to appoint my colleagues to a strengthened Cabinet team, delivering on the priorities of the people of Scotland.

” Alex Neil joins the Cabinet for the first time, reflecting a renewed focus on jobs and investment, so that we sustain Scotland’s recovery. This week, Scottish unemployment fell below the rate south of the Border, and we are determined to continue this progress which is why we also need to win new job-creating powers in the Scotland Bill.

” As a Cabinet Secretary, Bruce Crawford will deliver on the government’s pledge to seek the maximum possible support for the government’s policy and legislative proposals regardless of our majority position and he will take on an important new role of developing government strategy and co-ordinating policy delivery across portfolios.

” Major new opportunities are opening up on the global stage, with enormous and growing international interest in Scotland, and as Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop will be in a position to ensure that these are realised in full for the nation’s commercial and cultural benefit.

“The Law Officers of Frank Mulholland and Lesley Thomson are Scotland’s tough new prosecution team. The Lord Advocate will be bringing his proposals for new measures to crack down on sectarian crime to Cabinet next week. And Lesley Thomson as Solicitor General is an expert on criminal confiscation – she will be stepping up the Crown Office’s efforts even further to strip law breakers of their ill-gotten gains, so that they can be invested in community projects to give our young people new and healthy life opportunities.”

New Cabinet

First Minister: Alex Salmond MSP

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy:  Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth: John Swinney MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning: Michael Russell MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy: Bruce Crawford MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Justice: Kenny MacAskill MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment: Richard Lochhead MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs: Fiona Hyslop MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment: Alex Neil MSP

Law Officers

Lord Advocate: Frank Mulholland QC
Solicitor General: Lesley Thomson