FIRST Minister John Swinney has named his new Scottish Cabinet.

The new SNP leader was officially sworn in as Scotland's seventh First Minister on Wednesday, after being confirmed by a vote of MSPs on Tuesday.

Swinney will lead a minority SNP government and familiar faces from the party, including likely future leadership contenders such as Kate Forbes and Mairi McAllan, were seen entering Bute House on Wednesday afternoon.

A few hours later, their official roles in Swinney's new government were announced.

The National:

Forbes is to take the economy portfolio and responsibility for Gaelic, as well as the Deputy First Minister brief.

Shona Robison, who Forbes replaced as deputy first minister on Wednesday, will take on the finance and local government briefs.

In all there are 11 members of the Cabinet, which is majority female.

Here is the full list of who holds which Cabinet position in the new SNP minority government:

  • Kate Forbes, the youngest-ever Deputy First Minister, will take on the economy portfolio and responsibility for Gaelic 
  • Shona Robison remains in Cabinet with responsibility for finance and local government
  • Jenny Gilruth remains Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills 
  • Angela Constance remains Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs 
  • Mairi McAllan remains in Cabinet with responsibility for Net Zero and Energy portfolio 
  • Fiona Hyslop remains Cabinet Secretary for Transport 
  • Neil Gray remains Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care 
  • Shirley-Anne Somerville remains Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice 
  • Angus Robertson remains Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture 
  • Mairi Gougeon remains Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands

Mairi McAllan will remain as Energy Secretary but the "Wellbeing Economy" brief has been stripped of its first word and handed to Forbes.

Commenting on the Cabinet appointments, First Minister Swinney said: “Ahead of my appointment as First Minister, I committed to working collaboratively across the Parliament to address the pressing issues facing the people of Scotland.

“With that in mind, I have selected a Cabinet team that blends experience and energy, with a strong focus on the priorities my Government will pursue – eradicating child poverty, driving economic growth, meeting climate obligations and investing in our vital public services."

He added: “I believe that Scotland’s future is best served as an independent country – but I recognise more people need to be convinced of that before independence can be achieved.

"My Cabinet will also focus efforts on reaching out to those who remain unconvinced, with respect and courtesy, to ensure that the people of Scotland have the democratic right to choose their own future.”

Later on Wednesday, Swinney's government confirmed the full list of junior ministers. These government positions see MSPs work under Cabinet Secretaries in often more specific portfolios.

Here’s the full list of junior ministers in the SNP minority government:

  • Minister for Parliamentary Business – Jamie Hepburn
  • Minister for Business – Richard Lochhead
  • Minister for Employment and Investment – Tom Arthur
  • Minister for Public Finance – Ivan McKee
  • Minister for Children, Young People and The Promise – Natalie Don
  • Minister for Higher and Further Education and Minister for Veterans – Graeme Dey
  • Minister for Victims and Community Safety – Siobhian Brown
  • Minister for Climate Action – Gillian Martin
  • Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity – Jim Fairlie
  • Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health – Jenni Minto
  • Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport – Maree Todd
  • Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy – Christina McKelvie
  • Minister for Equalities – Kaukab Stewart
  • Minister for Housing – Paul McLennan

There were also some departures as part of the reshuffle. These include:

  • George Adam stepped down as minister for parliamentary business
  • Emma Roddick stepped down as minister for equalities, migration and refugees
  • Joe FitzPatrick stepped down as minister for local government empowerment and planning

What was the reaction to the appointments?

The Scottish Conservatives said Swinney's Cabinet was "simply Humza Yousaf’s Cabinet with a different figurehead".

Scots Tory MSP and party chair Craig Hoy went on: “The return of Kate Forbes is a desperate attempt by both John Swinney and his new deputy to gloss over the huge splits in the SNP and fixate on independence."

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Scottish Labour group leader Anas Sarwar said it was a "continuity Cabinet".

He added: "All about managing their party, nothing to do with running the country."

However, others have welcomed the consistency.

The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland said: "The reappointment of Neil Gray as Health Secretary is not only welcome but necessary in providing continuity at a time when NHS Scotland is in deep crisis.

"We look forward to continuing to build a relationship with Neil Gray on an open and frank basis."