JOHN Swinney has addressed ending the “minister for independence” role in the Scottish Government.

In a position introduced under Swinney’s predecessor Humza Yousaf, minister for independence Jamie Hepburn was tasked with advancing the case for Scottish independence across government departments.

However, when the new SNP Cabinet and ministerial team was announced on Wednesday, Hepburn had been moved over to be Minister for Parliamentary Business. The independence minister role was axed.

Swinney addressed the move in an article for The National on Thursday, arguing that every Scottish Government minister had responsibility for independence.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: John Swinney cannot afford to treat independence as an afterthought

He wrote: “Because the Scottish Government believes independence offers the best future for Scotland, all Cabinet Secretaries and ministers – not just one – are responsible for helping to bring about that better future.”

Other changes to Swinney's ministerial line-up saw the "wellbeing" dropped from the economy brief, which was given to new Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes.

The minister for planning role was also dropped, as were specific briefs on the just transition, Europe and international development, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere in his article for The National, the First Minister argued that impatience and short cuts would not win independence.

Instead, he said that competent government and “respectful persuasion” were tools with which a pro-independence consensus could slowly be built across Scots society.

The National: John Swinney has appointed his cabinet and ministerial team (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Swinney (above) wrote: “As a party we will use every electoral opportunity to advance the cause. The next such opportunity will be the forthcoming UK General Election. The SNP will go into that election on a manifesto which will say on page one, line one: ‘Vote SNP for Scotland to become an independent country.’

“Between now and then there is a crucial job for the SNP - to show the people of Scotland that winning independence is not separate from their top concerns. It is through independence that we can build a stronger economy, higher living standards, and a better NHS.

“We have achieved so much together: a Scottish Parliament and an independence referendum, both of which looked a long way off to me when I joined the SNP.

“They were accomplished by always keeping our eye on the prize, building support, keeping up the pressure, and trusting in democratic power. That’s how we are going to win our country’s independence.”

You can read the First Minister's full article here.