Cabinet reshuffle: new third sector secretary appointed

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Aileen Campbell succeeds Angela Constance following major reshuffle

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27th June 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A new cabinet secretary has been appointed with responsibility for Scotland’s third sector.

Aileen Campbell has been promoted to cabinet secretary for communities and local government and will lead the Scottish Government’s work to tackle poverty and inequality.

The Clydesdale MSP succeeds Angela Constance who stepped down as part of a major reshuffle by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Campbell, formerly minister for public health and sport, tweeted: “It’s an honour to be asked to serve as cab sec for communities & local gov, partly following @AConstanceSNP, I have big (&bright &wonderful!) shoes to fill. She was committed & passionate about creating a fairer Scotland & I look forward to continuing her fine work.”

Aileen Campbell MSP

Aileen Campbell MSP

It’s an honour to be asked to serve as cabinet secretary for communities and local government

Constance, a Lothian MSP and former education secretary, had been in post since May 2016, taking over from Alex Neil.

Following her resignation, she tweeted: "Been a privilege to serve nearly 8 years @scotgov, proud of my work to increase youth employment & the steps taken to end child poverty. Good luck to my successor & other colleagues – I’m looking forward to spending summer in my fantastic constituency and with my wee boy."

John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), welcomed Campbell's appointment.

He said: “SCVO  – along with our members – look forward to working closely with Aileen on some of the big issues facing Scotland’s communities and the third sector.

“We know, from her previous roles in government, that Aileen recognises the strength, value and diversity of the Scotland’s charity and voluntary sector and we are confident this strong relationship and understanding will continue as she takes on this new role.

“Only this month, Aileen acknowledged vital role that Scotland’s third sector has in the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act, and set up a new fund to financially support organisations to do this successfully.

"We welcome the cabinet secretary’s commitment to supporting the sector to improve life in Scotland and look forward to exploring how we can contribute to her work in the years ahead.”

Other high profile changes include Shirley-Anne Somerville, who as been appointed as cabinet secretary for social security and older people.

She will oversee the operational delivery of the first social security payments following the passage of the social security bill.

The Dunfermline MSP succeeds Jeane Freeman, who becomes health secretary, a post vacated by Shona Robison.

Somerville was a trustee at Shelter Scotland and a former public affairs officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing and media officer for the Royal College of Nursing.

There have been changes at ministerial level as well, with Jamie Hepburn taking on the new role of minister for business, fair work and skills.

This combines his previous portfolio as business minister and retains responsibility for employability.

Employability will be under the overall auspices of finance secretary Derek Mackay, who Hepburn will report to.

Maree Todd, who was appointed minister for children and young people in October last year will remain in her post.

The existing minister for international development and Europe Dr Alasdair Allan, minister for community safety and legal affairs Annabelle Ewing, and minister for mental health Maureen Watt will be leaving the government.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These appointments, together with the reshaped portfolios, mean that people can have confidence that the Scottish Government will continue to deliver for people, public services and communities the length and breadth of the country.

“People already have high trust in the Scottish Government to look after their interests, and I am determined that this new, refreshed cabinet will continue to repay that trust.

“I would like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to Keith Brown, Shona Robison and Angela Constance who are leaving cabinet for the hard work, commitment and dedication they have brought to the government.

“Each of them has achievements that they can be proud of and I know that they will all continue to make a strong contribution to the cause of a better Scotland.”