BUSINESS minister Ivan McKee has left the Scottish Government as Humza Yousaf begins his Cabinet reshuffle.

Reports suggest that McKee, who initially served as Kate Forbes’s campaign manager, left his role after he was offered what he considered a lesser job.

It comes the day after Forbes turned down a role in Yousaf’s government after being offered the Cabinet position for rural affairs.

McKee was appointed as the minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise by Nicola Sturgeon

READ MORE: Kate Forbes rejects minister job in Humza Yousaf's government

On his exit, he told The Herald: “I have just been to see the first minister. He offered me a smaller job. It was similar to what it was now but with less responsibility.

“We didn’t go into the specifics but it was broadly similar but without some of the responsibilities around government transformation and some other work I’ve been doing.

“It was effectively a smaller job than I had just now and I have turned it down.”

Asked exactly why he left, McKee said: “To be absolutely frank with you. It is immensely frustrating having to talk to businesses everyday and listen to their problems without having the ability to actually do anything about it.”

It means a number of key positions in Yousaf’s Cabinet will need to be filled once he is officially sworn in as FM. 

The new leader will need a new health and finance secretary as well as somebody to replace McKee following his departure.

He has already announced that Shona Robison will serve as his deputy.  

Writing on Twitter, SNP MSP Michelle Thomson said she was “pretty disappointed” at the news. 

She added: “After all it was @Ivan_McKee that won an award from an effusive (Dr Liz Cameron) on his excellent response to the needs of business during #covid.”