Well, my predictions – as ever – were pretty wide of the mark.  First Minister Alex Salmond announced his Cabinet yesterday and his ministerial team this afternoon.  They are:

The Scottish Cabinet line up in an unorthodox 4-3-2 formation

First Minister: Alex Salmond MSP

Deputy First Minister & Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy: Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport: Shona Robison MSP
Minister for Public Health: Michael Matheson MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth: John Swinney MSP
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism: Fergus Ewing MSP
Minister for Local Government and Planning: Aileen Campbell MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning: Michael Russell MSP
Minister for Children and Young People: Angela Constance MSP
Minister for Learning and Skills (with responsibility for Gaelic & Scots): Alasdair Allan MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy: Bruce Crawford MSP
Minister for Parliamentary Business and Chief Whip: Brian Adam MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Justice: Kenny MacAskill MSP
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs
(with responsibility for tackling sectarianism): Roseanna Cunningham MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment: Richard Lochhead MSP
Minister for Environment and Climate Change: Stewart Stevenson MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs: Fiona Hyslop MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment: Alex Neil MSP
Minister for Housing and Transport: Keith Brown MSP

Law Officers
Lord Advocate: Frank Mulholland
Solicitor General: Lesley Thomson

Initial thoughts are… well, that I was quite wrong with my thinking as to how it would be constituted.  There is, for example, no Cabinet Secretary (or Minister) for the Constitution.  None of the new faces to Parliament have made it into the team – which is probably not that much of a surprise, and perhaps I was being a little bit ambitious with some of my thinking there.  I still maintain that Derek Mackay and Aileen McLeod would have been excellent additions to the team – perhaps we’ll see them in prominent roles later in the (five year) term or in Committee roles when they are handed out.

There are new faces in the team though – Michael Matheson joins the Health team, which I did get right, though he switches roles with Shona Robison.  Alasdair Allan takes over as Minister for Learning & Skills (which although I didn’t predict, I did suggest he should be considered and I’m delighted he has been promoted!).  And Aileen Campbell, another who I considered, has gotten the nod to be Minister for Local Government & Planning.  That’s a tough brief – and I look forward to seeing how she tackles it.  Finally, last term’s chief whip Brian Adam continues that role alongside being Minister for Parliamentary Business, under Bruce Crawford – who got promoted to Cabinet Secretary for the same.

Its a proper reshuffle too – with some shifting around of ministers (Fergus Ewing takes on Jim Mather’s old job, Roseanna Cunningham moves to his old brief, and Stewart Stevenson returns to take on the Environment & Climate Change brief while Angela Constance takes on Adam Ingram’s post as Minister for Children & Young People – he’s the only minister moved out of the team in this shuffle.  Keith Brown adds Housing to his Transport brief after Alex Neil steps up to Cabinet level as Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment and there’s even a change in the law offices.

This is Salmond’s “Team Scotland”.  What do we think of it?


I see Labour have announced their shadow Cabinet (which is presumably temporary while Iain Gray is still LOLITSP):

Leader: Iain Gray
Health: Jackie Baillie
Finance: Richard Baker
Education: Malcolm Chisholm
Parliamentary Business: Paul Martin
Justice: Johann Lamont
Rural Affairs & Environment: Sarah Boyack
Culture & External Affairs: Ken Macintosh
Infrastructure & Capital Investment: Lewis Macdonald
Chief Whip: John Park