Today Nicola Sturgeon announced her new Cabinet after being sworn in as Scotland’s First Minister for another term. Here’s the who’s-who of her new star-studded team:
John Swinney – Deputy First Minister, shifted from Education to Minister for Covid Recovery. Was accused of withholding evidence during the Salmond Inquiry, and survived the Scottish Tories’ subsequent vote of no confidence.
Humza Yousaf – Moved from Justice Secretary to Health, tasked with establishing a Scottish National Care Service. Previously held the Transport Secretary post during which he was fined £300 for driving without insurance. Spent yesterday under siege from resignation calls on Twitter after angering Rangers fans. Once claimed the polls leaning against independence were ‘rigged‘.
Kate Forbes – Remains Finance Secretary. Will see her brief expanded to encompass trade and growth deals. Took up the job in 2020 after Sturgeon’s previous finance secretary quit following revelations of flirty texts between him and a 16-year-old boy. Perhaps she’ll finally offer some insight into how much the SNP thinks independence would cost…
Shirley-Anne Somerville – Moved from Social Security and Older People to Education Secretary. Taking on Swinney’s old brief. As Cabinet Secretary for Social Security she asked Westminster to keep powers over benefits until 2024 that were due to be devolved by now. Oversaw the ‘older people brief’ during which time hundreds of hospital patients were moved to care homes without sufficient Covid testing.
Michael Matheson – Remains Transport Secretary, added responsibilities for energy and achieving net-zero. Once faced calls to resign over claims of political interference into the publication of a report on the Scottish Police Authority.
Keith Brown – Replaces Humza Yousaf as Justice Secretary and Depute Leader of the SNP. Recently claimed he wanted the pandemic to end just so the SNP could get on with its push for independence.
Shona Robison – Returns to Cabinet as Social Justice Secretary after a three-year break. Was sacked as Health Secretary in 2018 for missing key targets.
Angus Robertson – New Constitution Secretary: No doubt the best known by readers after leading the SNP in the House of Commons from 2007 to 2017, and as depute leader of the party from 2016 to 2018. Defeated in 2017, ironically, by Douglas Ross. Claimed a £400 home cinema system on parliamentary expenses.
Mairi Gougeon – Promoted from Health & Sport Secretary to Rural Affairs. Only assumed her previous role in December last year after Joe FitzPatrick was sacked for overseeing Scotland’s calamitous rise in drug deaths. She lasted five months before being moved again, presumably for doing such a good job.
Guido appreciates Nicola believes we’re facing a climate crisis – recycling ministers is a bit desperate, though…