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McLeish resignation Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 15:20 GMT
Who's who in the Scottish Cabinet
Debating chamber
Jack McConnell has announced his ministerial team
First Minister Jack McConnell has announced the ministerial team for the Scottish Parliament.

News Online looks at the senior cabinet members in the new-look Scottish Executive.

Jack McConnell was elected first minister by a majority of MSPs last week and sworn in as first minister on Tuesday.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MSP served as finance minister and then education minister before his elevation in the wake of former first minister Henry McLeish's resignation.

As education minister, Mr McConnell faced a stiff test in the last 12 months in getting Scotland's exams system running efficiently again after a fiasco in the summer of 2000. He also successfully steered his department through controversy over teachers' pay.

He is a former general secretary of the Scottish Labour Party and co-ordinated Labour's Yes Yes devolution referendum campaign.

Jim Wallace is leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and deputy first minister in the coalition administration.

The Orkney MSP is also the Scottish Executive justice minister.

Mr Wallace has stepped in as acting first minister pending the successors to the late Donald Dewar and most recent incumbent Henry McLeish and has won praise for his handling of the role.

He was elected leader of the Scottish Lib Dems in 1992 and served as MP for Orkney and Shetland from 1983.

A qualified QC, he decided to pursue his political career in the new Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Cathy Jamieson is elevated to the role of education minister in Jack McConnell's cabinet.

She takes on one of the most distinguished and toughest jobs in the cabinet.

The Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP is viewed as a McConnell loyalist and is deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

A graduate in fine art and social work, she started off as an art therapist and had a particular interest in working with young people at risk.

Mrs Jamieson was formerly principal of the Who Cares? Scotland organisation, working for young people in care and was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Malcolm Chisholm takes over as health minister, replacing Susan Deacon.

Mr Chisholm, the Labour MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith, had until Tuesday served as the deputy minister for health and community care.

The former teacher is another politician who gave up his seat at Westminster to serve in the Scottish Parliament.

He had served as a junior Scottish Office minister after the 1997 general election but resigned shortly afterwards in a row over payments to single parent families.

Mr Chisholm had considered standing for the partly leadership but decided against it, despite indications that he would have had a respectable following.

Wendy Alexander remains as the minister for enterprise and lifelong learning and takes on responsibility for transport.

Ms Alexander has been a minister since the formation of the executive in 1999, and originally held the position of minister for social inclusion, local government and housing.

The Paisley North MSP has been regarded as a protege of the late first minister Donald Dewar and a possible future Scottish leader.

Much attention was focused on Ms Alexander ahead of the reshuffle amid speculation that Mr McConnell had wanted to split the enterprise and lifelong learning portfolios.

The pair held talks at the weekend and Ms Alexander was successful in opposing the move. She takes on Sarah Boyack's transport portfolio.

Ross Finnie is another member of the Scottish cabinet to remain in post and maintain his portfolio as minister for rural affairs and the environment.

The Liberal Democrat list MSP for the West of Scotland has faced a tough year in which Scottish farming has been ravaged by foot-and-mouth disease.

He has seen exports of Scottish beef and lamb finally restored after months in which many farmers saw their businesses decimated.

Mr Finnie was chairman of the Scottish Liberal Party from 1982 to 1986 and spearheaded the Scottish Liberal Democrats' general election campaign from 1995 to 1997.

He has been in the Scottish cabinet since 1999.

Andy Kerr is a new face in the Scottish cabinet and replaces Angus MacKay as minister for finance and public services.

A McConnell loyalist, it was always expected that the East Kilbride MSP would find a position within 'team McConnell'.

He was convener of the transport and environment committee in the parliament.

Mr Kerr formerly worked in Glasgow Council's land services department and was UK secretary of the National Association of Direct Labour Organisations between 1991 and 1992 and Scottish secretary from 1994 until 1997.

He then became advisor to the then Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety and was elected as an MSP in 1999.

Mike Watson was also hotly tipped to join the Scottish cabinet and joins as minister for tourism, culture and sport.

The Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart has, up until now, been best known for his bill proposing a ban on hunting with dogs.

Mr Watson was an adult education lecturer and a full-time trade union official before becoming Labour MP for Glasgow Central in June 1989.

He was re-elected in the 1992 general election but his constituency disappeared after boundary changes and there followed a bitter candidate selection contest with Mohammed Sarwar for the Glasgow Govan seat at the 1997 general election.

He eventually lost but was created a life peer as Lord Watson of Invergowrie before his return to elected politics in 1999.

Iain Gray has inherited the social justice portfolio from the outgoing Jackie Baillie.

Mr Gray takes a step up from his junior position as deputy minister for justice, where one of his responsibilities was to tackle Scotland's drugs problem.

He also served as deputy minister for community care until last year's reshuffle.

The former secondary school teacher and Oxfam worker was elected as MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands in 1999.

He has previously stood as a candidate in Lothian Regional Council elections.

Patricia Ferguson becomes the new minister with responsibility for parliamentary business, replacing Tom McCabe.

Mrs Ferguson had been appointed as one of two deputy presiding officers when the Scottish Parliament opened two years ago.

The Glasgow Maryhill MSP is a former NHS administrator, who also worked for the Scottish TUC and the Labour Party in Glasgow.

She was a key figure in Jack McConnell's leadership campaign.

She is a member of the procedures committee and the standards committee and sits on a variety of cross-party groups including tobacco control and drug misuse.

Colin Boyd QC remains as Scotland's lord advocate in the cabinet.

He has had a testing time since taking over from predecessor Lord Hardie as head of the prosecution service in Scotland.

Mr Boyd oversaw the conviction of one man for the Lockerbie bombing and conceded that the prosecution system failed the family of Asian waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar following two inquiries into his death.

He began as a solicitor in private practice before being called to the Scottish Bar in 1983.

Mr Boyd served as an advocate depute from 1993 to 1995 and took silk in 1995.

Elish Angiolini has made legal and political history by being recommended as Scotland's first woman Solicitor General.

Mrs Angiolini is also the first solicitor to be appointed to the post and the first person to be chosen from the Crown Office and the procurator fiscal service.

She has spent much of her career in the procurator fiscal service and until now has been the regional procurator fiscal based in Aberdeen for Grampian and the Highlands and Islands.

Mrs Angiolini will be responsible for the operational side of the Crown Office and the fiscal service.

She will also be responsible for complaints against police, and will chair a steering group on the prosecution of High Court cases set up as a result of the Campbell report on the Chhokar case.

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See also:

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