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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
McConnell names new cabinet
Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell was sworn in at the Court of Session
Scotland's first minister has chosen his new cabinet after being sworn in to the top job at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Jack McConnell, who was last week elected as first minister in the Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition government, cut the number of ministers as part of his reshuffle.

Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace takes over at enterprise and lifelong learning, replacing Iain Gray - who lost his seat at the election.

Former education minister Cathy Jamieson takes over the Lib Dem leader's old justice portfolio.

She said that her new brief represented a "very big challenge".

"The important thing is we move on the agenda we laid out during the election campaign and the coalition talks," said the Labour MSP.

I believe that a reduction in salaried cabinet ministers and deputies was justified but will not prevent us from being fully accountable and effective
Jack McConnell

"I am certainly looking forward to taking that agenda forward."

Ms Jamieson's old post is taken over by Labour's Peter Peacock, who was deputy finance minister in the previous administration.

He said: "Education is a very exciting agenda, with the biggest school building programme we have seen in over 100 years."

The number of ministers has been slimmed down from 20 to 18, although the size of the cabinet has increased from 10 to 11.

Labour's Frank McAveety and Lib Dem MSP Nicol Stephen will sit in cabinet on deputy ministers' salaries.

Minister sacked

Mr McAveety takes over responsibility for tourism, culture and sport, while Mr Stephen takes charge of transport.

Mike Watson, who was minister for tourism in the previous administration, has been sacked from the cabinet.

Liberal Democrat Ross Finnie remains as minister for rural affairs and environment.

He said: "I have enjoyed the last four years and I am looking forward to the next four years."

Cathy Jamieson
Cathy Jamieson has taken over the justice brief
Labour's Malcolm Chisholm said he was "very pleased" to retain his position as health minister.

"It's a very important portfolio and I'm looking forward to getting back to business right away," he said.

His party colleague Andy Kerr has retained the finance portfolio, while Labour's Patricia Ferguson stays as parliamentary business minister.

Labour's Margaret Curran's former social justice brief has been renamed and she becomes minister for communities.

The position of the two present law officers, Lord Advocate Colin Boyd and Solicitor General Elish Angolini, remains unchanged.

'High expectations'

After announcing the appointments, Mr McConnell said the parliament had a chance to change Scotland for the good.

"The high expectations people had for the parliament must be realised," he said.

"The team I have appointed today will help achieve that by raising their game, listening to the people of Scotland and delivering real improvements in services and the law."

Jim Wallace
A partnership agreement has been signed and we now have the people in place to take forward that agreement
Jim Wallace
Deputy first minister
He added that he had listened to the public's message about the size of government.

"I believe that a reduction in salaried cabinet ministers and deputies was justified but will not prevent us from being fully accountable and effective," he said.

Mr Wallace said Labour and the Lib Dems had been working hard to lay the foundations for a sucessful second term.

"A partnership agreement has been signed and we now have the people in place to take forward that agreement," he said.

"I believe these foundations are very strong and it is now time to build on these and get down to work for the people of Scotland."

Before revealing the cabinet's make-up, Mr McConnell was sworn in as first minister by judges at the Court of Session in the capital.

Mr McConnell took the oath of allegiance and was appointed as Keeper of the Great Seal for Scotland.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Brian Taylor
"Jack McConnell has named a smaller, tighter team"


The BBC's Kirsten Campbell
"Mr McConnell says his team will deliver real improvements"



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SEE ALSO:
McConnell's cabinet
20 May 03  |  Scotland
Coalition deal: At-a-glance
15 May 03  |  Scotland



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