Scotland politics

Nicola Sturgeon holds first cabinet meeting

scottish cabinet Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Sturgeon's unveiled her new Scottish cabinet on Friday

Nicola Sturgeon has convened the first meeting of her new Scottish cabinet.

Ms Sturgeon revealed her top ministerial team, which has a 50-50 gender split, on Friday after becoming Scotland's first female first minister.

At its meeting in Edinburgh, the cabinet agreed a programme for government which will be announced at Holyrood on Wednesday.

The event was also an opportunity for Ms Sturgeon to welcome new members to their posts.

When she unveiled her new cabinet team, Ms Sturgeon said they would take forward the Scottish government's aim to create a "socially democratic and socially just" Scotland.

The new cabinet would work with "verve, vigour and determination" to "address poverty, support business, promote growth and tackle inequality", she added.

Joining Ms Sturgeon at the cabinet table was Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who has also retained his brief as finance secretary.

Justice portfolio

Angela Constance has replaced Michael Russell as education secretary, and Michael Matheson has taken on the justice portfolio after Kenny MacAskill's departure.

Former sports secretary Shona Robison was promoted to health secretary in last week's reshuffle, with Alex Neil moving to the role of cabinet secretary for social Justice, communities and pensioners' rights.

Former legal affairs minister Roseanna Cunningham is now cabinet secretary for fair work, skills and training, while ex-transport minister Keith Brown is secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities.

Richard Lochhead and Fiona Hyslop remain in their roles as environment and culture secretaries respectively.

Ms Robison updated ministers on the Government's response to the report on the inquiry into the Clostridium difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

She left the meeting early to meet with families affected, and to discuss the report's publication.

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