Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Monday, 27 June 2005 17:47 UK

McConnell's cabinet: At-a-glance

The Scottish cabinet has undergone two changes after the new Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen adjusted his party's ministerial team.

BBC Scotland's news website looks at the senior cabinet members in the new-look Scottish Executive.


Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell: First Minister
Jack McConnell was chosen as first minister by a majority of MSPs after the last election and sworn in to the post.

His party, Labour, is the single biggest group in the Scottish Parliament.

But with no overall control after the last election, he agreed to a second coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats since the parliament was formed in 1999.

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.

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


Nicol Stephen
Nicol Stephen: Deputy First Minister
Nicol Stephen is leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and took over Jim Wallace's roles as deputy first minister and enterprise minister.

The former transport minister was elected MSP for Aberdeen South at the first Scottish Parliament election in 1999 and joined Jack McConnell's ministerial team in May 2003.

Before a career at Holyrood, Mr Stephen, 45, was educated at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen where he went on to study law at Aberdeen University.

After obtaining his law qualifications in 1981 he was a trainee solicitor with C&PH Chalmers.

He went became a senior manager with Touche Ross Corporate Finance and between 1992 and 1999 he was director of Glassbox Ltd.

He also briefly served as an MP from 1991-92 in Kincardine and Deeside, having won what was regarded as a safe Conservative seat at a by-election.


Cathy Jamieson
Cathy Jamieson: Justice Minister
Cathy Jamieson is a close political colleague of Mr McConnell and was brought into the cabinet after his elevation to first minister.

She moved from her role as education minister to justice minister.

The Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP 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.


Peter Peacock
Peter Peacock: Education Minister
Peter Peacock, the education minister, is MSP for Highlands and Islands and used to be a councillor and Labour council leader for Highland Council.

The politician was educated at Hawick High School and gained a diploma in youth work and community service at Jordanhill College.

He has worked as a community worker, area officer at the Citizens Advice Bureau and as a self employed consultant.

He is a former member of Scottish Natural Heritage, the Post Office Board for Scotland, European Committee of Regions and the Council of Europe - Local Authority Chamber.


Malcolm Chisholm
Malcolm Chisholm: Communities Minister

Malcolm Chisholm took over as health minister in Mr McConnell's first cabinet, replacing Susan Deacon.

He became communities minister after criticism of his handling of the executive's health cuts.

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

The former teacher 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.


Ross Finnie
Ross Finnie: Rural Affairs Minister

Ross Finnie, minister for rural affairs and the environment, is the Liberal Democrat list MSP for the West of Scotland.

He faced a tough time when Scottish farming was ravaged by foot-and-mouth disease.

He has also been involved with contentious issues surrounding European fish quotas.

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
Andy Kerr: Health Minister

Andy Kerr was a new face in the Scottish cabinet when Mr McConnell took over as leader in November 2001.

He replaced Angus MacKay as minister for finance and public services before taking over from Mr Chisholm as health minister.

The East Kilbride MSP, a McConnell loyalist, 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 an MSP in 1999.


Tom McCabe
Tom McCabe: Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform

Tom McCabe took over as minister for finance and public service reform in October 2004 after the reshuffle which saw Malcolm Chisholm moved from the top health job to communities.

Prior to that change, Mr McCabe, 51, was deputy health minister.

He is the Labour MSP for Hamilton South with a background in social work during the 1990s. Before then, he worked for Hoover plc.


Margaret Curran
Margaret Curran: Parliament Minister

Margaret Curran, minister for parliamentary business, was a lecturer in community education, particularly interested in education and economic and urban regeneration.

She graduated from Glasgow University where she studied History and Economic History.

Ms Curran, a former election agent, is married with two sons. Her interests include reading and the arts.


Tavish Scott: Transport Minister
Tavish Scott has become transport minister, after masterminding Mr Stephen's campaign to become party leader.

As deputy finance minister he was in charge of the cabinet's controversial policy of moving Scottish Executive jobs out of the capital and dispersing them throughout the country.

His Shetland constituency - 300 miles from Edinburgh - is closer to Norway than Holyrood.

In March 2001 Mr Scott resigned as deputy parliament minister in a row over help for the fishing industry.

He graduated from Napier College with a degree in business studies - before becoming a farmer, party press officer and aide to Jim Wallace.

Mr Scott's interests are golf, "any game my children are currently interested in" and the Up Helly Aa Viking festival.


Pat Ferguson
Patricia Ferguson: Tourism Minister
Patricia Ferguson, minister for tourism, culture and sport, had been appointed as one of two deputy presiding officers when the Scottish Parliament opened in 1999.

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.


Colin Boyd
Colin Boyd: Lord Advocate

Colin Boyd QC is Scotland's Lord Advocate.

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
Elish Angiolini: Solicitor General

Elish Angiolini made legal and political history by becoming Scotland's first woman Solicitor General in November 2001.

Mrs Angiolini was 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 spent much of her career in the procurator fiscal service. She was the regional procurator fiscal based in Aberdeen for Grampian and the Highlands and Islands.

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

She is also be responsible for complaints against police.

SEE ALSO
Reshuffle reveals cabinet line-up
27 Jun 05 |  Scotland

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