FIONA Hyslop has been appointed as Humza Yousaf's new Transport Minister following the resignation of Kevin Stewart last week. 

Hyslop, the former cabinet secretary for economy, fair work and culture, previously served in Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon's administrations.

She has a staggering 14 years of cabinet experience but has been on the backbenches since the last election.

Màiri McAllan will add transport to her brief, restoring it to a Cabinet position as her remit changes to Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition.

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Other areas previously in McAllan's portfolio will be given to other members of the Scottish Government.

Notably, responsibility for the green economy will move from McAllan to Richard Lochhead.  

Lochhead’s new title will be Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade.

Gillian Martin has also had responsibilities added to her remit, with her title changing to Minister for Energy and the Environment.

Hyslop was not in Holyrood on Tuesday when her appointment was announced, but had tweeted earlier in the day from an event in her constituency. 

The First Minister said: “I am pleased to announce that I am strengthening the ministerial team on transport.

“I have taken two steps: first, by changing Màiri McAllan’s remit, I am freeing her to take a direct day-to-day role in transport, effectively bringing transport explicitly back into Cabinet.

“Second, I am bringing one of the most experienced politicians in the Scottish Parliament – Fiona Hyslop – into the role of Minister for Transport. Her return to government means she can bring her decades of experience across government to bear on the challenges that exist, not least around ferry services.

“Finally, I am using this opportunity to also bring some extra support to the rural portfolio by expanding Gillian Martin’s role, and ensuring that Richard Lochhead’s title reflects his responsibilities supporting business across Scotland.

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"This will ensure that the significant policy plans of this Government can be pursued with vigour.”

Speaking in the Holyrood chamber on Tuesday afternoon, Yousaf told MSPs that Hyslop brought free tuition fees to Scotland and that she has a "wealth of experience". 

He said: "Let's be honest, to be Transport Minister in any Government, you can get little credit when things go well, and you may find that the moment anything goes wrong the whole country may well know who you are.

"But Fiona has the experience, she has the expertise and most importantly, she has the ability to be an excellent Transport Minister."

MSPs voted unanimously to recommend Hyslop's appointment to the role by the King on Tuesday afternoon. 

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Hyslop, MSP for Linlithgow, left the frontbenches in Holyrood in May 2021, alongside Fergus Ewing, after being in a ministerial role since 2007. 

The SNP MSP has previously served as education secretary, and culture and external affairs secretary, before taking on the economy brief.

It comes after former transport minister Kevin Stewart announced that after two months in the job, he would be standing down, citing mental health reasons as behind his decision.