Swinney chairs first Cabinet meeting since becoming First Minister

The meeting took place at Bute House in Edinburgh.

First Minister John Swinney has chaired his first cabinet meeting
First Minister John Swinney has chaired his first cabinet meeting (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney has chaired his first Cabinet meeting since taking up his new role.

Mr Swinney was officially sworn in as Scotland’s seventh first minister on Wednesday and appointed his Cabinet that day.

On Friday morning, he chaired its first meeting at Bute House in Edinburgh.

Mr Swinney said: “Today, my colleagues and I embark on a new chapter as we collectively work to build a better, brighter future for the people of Scotland.

The cabinet met on Friday May 10
The cabinet met on Friday May 10 (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

“It is my greatest honour to lead us forward on that journey – one that will drive economic growth, tackle the climate crisis and eradicate the scourge of child poverty in our country once and for all.”

Kate Forbes became Scotland’s youngest ever Deputy First Minister this week as John Swinney announced a largely unchanged Cabinet team.

Shona Robison, who had been deputy first minister under Humza Yousaf, lost that position but remains in the Cabinet – keeping her finance brief and also taking on responsibility for local government.

Mr Swinney’s Cabinet includes eight women – thought to be the most ever – and two other men.

Neil Gray, who was appointed Health Secretary earlier this year, stays in the post, while Angus Robertson remains Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary.

Former teacher Jenny Gilruth remains Education Secretary, Angela Constance retains her position as Justice Secretary, and Fiona Hyslop continues as Transport Secretary.

Mairi McAllan remains in the Cabinet but with a slightly slimmed down brief – she had been the net zero, wellbeing economy and energy secretary, but now has responsibility for net zero and energy.

Shirley-Anne Sommerville and Mairi Gougeon also continue in their previous roles – as Social Justice Secretary, and Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Secretary respectively.