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Monday, May 17, 1999 Published at 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK


UK Politics

Opening the Cabinet door

The executive is being announced on Monday

With the Scottish Parliament coalition now in place, the big guessing-game is who will win seats in the new cabinet.

The line-up is being announced on Monday.

Some of the faces certain to be included are familiar in Scottish and UK politics, others less so.

Vote 99 Special Coverage
The cabinet will comprise up to 10 posts, headed by the First Minister Donald Dewar. A number of junior ministers will be appointed.

There are a couple of other dead certs, but apart from that, the field is open.

News Online looks at the possible members of Scotland's first cabinet for nearly 300 years:



[ image:  ]
Donald Dewar, the 61-year-old patrician who was returned in his Glasgow Anniesland constituency, will take the helm. He is stepping down as Scottish Secretary in Tony Blair's London cabinet and has been replaced by the former Transport Minister Dr John Reid. The post was expected to go to Mr Dewar's deputy Helen Liddell.



[ image:  ]
Henry McLeish (50), who has been Scottish Office Minister for Devolution and Home Affairs, was expected to become deputy first minister but this went to Jim Wallace under the coalition deal. The MSP for Central Fife is being tipped to take the education portfolio. At 15, Mr McLeish was a professional footballer who won a Scotland youth cap. He's listed as being keen on Burns and malt whisky.


Until last week, Frank McAveety was leader of Glasgow City Council. He gave up the post to become Labour's Scottish Parliamentary candidate in Glasgow Shettleston. The former teacher won and is a contender for the post of chief whip. His interests lie in arts and culture and he played a major role in delivering the city's local housing strategy.



[ image:  ]
Some attention is falling on Susan Deacon, who may win a junior education post. A business and marketing consultant, she made it to the parliament despite not getting through the candidates' selection procedure first time round. A subsequent successful appeal saw her become Labour's candidate in Edinburgh East and Musselburgh. An outside chance, but worth watching.


It would be a brave person who would bet against Sam Galbraith, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, from continuing to have responsibility for Scotland's health. The 53-year-old former neurosurgeon has also had sport and the arts under his remit. He underwent a lung transplant in 1990 and is keen on preventative medicine such as blood pressure tests.



[ image:  ]
The Lib-Dems' Scottish leader Jim Wallace (44), became deputy first minister over the head of Henry McLeish as part of the coalition deal forged between his party and Labour. Mr Wallace won the new constituency of Orkney. Indications are that he wants the education job but may have to settle for local government.


If a second cabinet role goes to the Lib-Dems, Argyll and Bute MSP George Lyon, a 42-year-old farmer, may be in the running for the agriculture minister's post. He is a former president of the National Farmers Union in Scotland and is the party's spokesman on industry and enterprise.



[ image:  ]
Wendy Alexander is hotly tipped for the finance and industry office. Ms Alexander, 35, easily took Paisley North and is regarded as a rising star in Scottish Labour circles. The former management consultant has even been talked of as a possible future successor to Donald Dewar. Her brother Douglas is the Westminster MP for Paisley South.


Mike Watson (Lord Watson of Invergowrie), MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, is in line for inclusion in Donald Dewar's inner circle. He was MP for Glasgow Central between 1989 and 1997 before becoming one of Labour's working peers in the House of Lords.


Another name on people's lips is Malcolm Chisholm, 50, MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith. Until last year he was Scottish Office under-secretary for local government, housing and transport.


Then there is Gordon Jackson QC, 50, who fought off the SNP to hold Glasgow Govan for Labour. He lists his interests as "all aspects of the criminal justice system and the constitutional implications for devolution". This might give him something in home affairs.



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