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McLeish resignation Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 18:07 GMT
McConnell in radical cabinet shake-up
Malcolm Chisholm
Malcolm Chisholm is promoted to health minister
Jack McConnell has made dramatic changes to the Scottish Cabinet after formally taking office as first minister.

A number of new faces have been added to the top tier of his administration following the announcement on Tuesday.

Four ministers who were central to Henry McLeish's cabinet have been sacked and one more resigned after being offered a demoted position.

Former social justice minister Jackie Baillie, transport minister Sarah Boyack, parliament minister Tom McCabe and finance minister Angus Mackay all lost their jobs.

Former health minister Susan Deacon was understood to have been offered the post of social justice minister but she refused this and now becomes a backbencher.

Cathy Jamieson
Cathy Jamieson becomes education minister

Malcolm Chisholm, who was Ms Deacon's deputy, steps up to become health minister.

Cathy Jamieson, Mr McConnell's deputy Scottish Labour Party leader, has been made minister for education and children.

The four sacked ministers were given the news in private talks with Mr McConnell and did not arrive at Bute House in person where the new cabinet was being formed on Tuesday.

The news came shortly after Mr McConnell's official instalment as first minister during a ceremony at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mike Watson, the Labour MSP who has formulated a bill to ban hunting, is brought into the cabinet to take on a new brief which covers tourism, culture and sport.

Andy Kerr
Andy Kerr becomes finance minister

Andy Kerr, who was involved in Mr McConnell's leadership campaign, is rewarded for his loyalty by being given a finance and public services portfolio.

The former deputy presiding officer Patricia Ferguson also comes into the cabinet to pick up the parliamentary business brief vacated by Tom McCabe.

There was speculation about what job Wendy Alexander would be offered in the reshuffle, and she is set to have her portfolio extended to include transport alongside her enterprise and lifelong learning responsibilities.

The new look senior appointments are:

  • Deputy first minister - Jim Wallace

  • Education - Cathy Jamieson

  • Enterprise, transport and lifelong learning - Wendy Alexander

  • Environment and rural development - Ross Finnie

  • Tourism, culture and sport - Mike Watson

  • Social justice - Iain Gray

  • Health and community care - Malcolm Chisholm

  • Parliamentary business - Patricia Ferguson

Later in the day, the junior ministerial line-up was announced.

There are two new faces at health - Hugh Henry and Mary Mulligan - while Richard Simpson is brought in at justice and Elaine Murray takes tourism.

Lewis Macdonald moves from transport to enterprise while Allan Wilson swaps sport, culture and arts for environment.

Nicol Stephen, Margaret Curran, Euan Robson and Peter Peacock stay at education, social justice, parliament and finance respectively.

Mike Watson
Mike Watson is another cabinet new-comer

Solicitor General Neil Davidson has stepped down.

In a message to ministers after details of the new line-up were made public, Mr McConnell said: "We should make sure that we shape our policies thoughtfully. We should do less but do it better.

"We should make sure that our policies are based on proper analysis."

The scale of the shake up surprised observers who had previously been told there would be no night of the long knives.

Mr McConnell said: "These are the right people at the right time for Scotland."

Political correspondent Kirsten Campbell reports
"He sacked four cabinet ministers and one resigned"
BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor
"It really is very extensive indeed"

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See also:

27 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
27 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
23 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
26 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
23 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
27 Nov 01 | McLeish resignation
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