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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Holyrood gives reshuffle backing
First Minister Jack McConnell
Mr McConnell defended his new team
Scotland's cabinet reshuffle has been rubber-stamped at Holyrood, after being branded "musical chairs" by opposition MSPs.

The shake-up, announced on Monday, saw Andy Kerr taking over the troubled health portfolio from Malcolm Chisholm.

Scottish National Party (SNP) Holyrood leader Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Executive needed new policies not new faces.

But First Minister Jack McConnell pledged to deliver for Scotland.

MSPs voted to back the appointment of Tom McCabe as finance minister, Rhona Brankin as deputy health minister and Johann Lamont as deputy communities minister.

A number of other changes took place during the reshuffle but Holyrood only had to approve the appointment of Mr McCabe, Ms Brankin and Ms Lamont, as Mr McCabe was being moved into the cabinet and the other two were coming in from the backbenches.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I think the people of Scotland might reasonably look at the performance of this executive and conclude that the reshuffle should have taken the form of radical surgery rather than a game of musical chairs.

"But I suspect what they want to see even more than new faces at the cabinet table, especially in the health service, is new policy."

In turn, Mr McConnell accused the Nationalists of being devoid of inspiration.

He said: "They can carp, they can criticise, they can complain - but not one new policy idea."

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06 Aug 04  |  Scotland
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24 Jun 04  |  Scotland


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