Rising star Màiri McAllan has been promoted to Humza Yousaf’s cabinet in a major role overseeing the transition away from oil and gas.
The 30-year-old’s new role as Net Zero Secretary will include managing Scotland’s transition away from oil and gas, with major implications for the north-east workforce.
Elected just under two years ago, she has rapidly risen up the ranks of the party, and was appointed environment minister in 2021.
After qualifying as a Scots lawyer, the MSP for Clydesdale specialised in energy and natural resources in a commercial firm in Glasgow.
The new first minister unveiled his top team on Wednesday who will be tasked with running Scotland days after he won the contest to succeed Nicola Sturgeon.
There are no cabinet members representing constituencies north of Angus, following the departure of Ms Forbes.
Yet there are a number of burning issues for the new first minister across the north and north-east which will require the cabinet’s attention.
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison will replace Highland MSP Kate Forbes as finance chief and ex-transport minister Jenny Gilruth is now education secretary.
Former Energy Secretary Michael Matheson replaces Mr Yousaf as health secretary, while Angus MSP Mairi Gougeon remains in charge of rural affairs after Ms Forbes sensationally turned down the role.
Ex-education chief Shirley Anne-Somerville will replace double-jobbing Deputy First Minister Ms Robison in heading up the social justice, housing and local government brief.
Neil Gray was one of the new first minister’s earliest supporters and has been rewarded with a major post in charge of the economy, wellbeing and energy.
Who is on the move?
- Angela Constance
- Jenny Gilruth
- Neil Gray
- Màiri McAllan
- Keith Brown
- Kate Forbes
- John Swinney
Former drugs minister Angela Constance is the party’s now justice chief as Keith Brown steps back.
Angus Robertson – who was tipped as an early contender for leader before backing Mr Yousaf – is the only cabinet member to remain in his current job as culture secretary.
Ms Sturgeon’s former deputy John Swinney – who had headed up his party’s Covid recovery strategy – announced beforehand he was leaving government.
‘Failed, continuity ministers’
Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy MSP said: “This is a cabinet in Humza Yousaf’s image – failed, continuity ministers appointed by a failed, continuity minister.
“The likes of Shona Robison, Michael Matheson, Angela Constance and Jenny Gilruth have been found sorely wanting in previous ministerial roles, yet all have been ‘rewarded’ with promotion by the new first minister.”
He continued: “This cabinet of proven flops and lackeys not only excludes Kate Forbes – who came within a whisker of beating Humza Yousaf in the vitriolic SNP leadership race – but anyone who backed her.
“Humza Yousaf clearly has no intention of ending the SNP’s civil war – just getting his revenge and declaring victory in it.”