Scotland now has three openly gay ministers

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Scotland now has three openly gay ministers, after Nicola Sturgeon’s first reshuffle since taking office.

Ms Sturgeon officially became First Minister and SNP leader this week, succeeding Alex Salmond, who stood down following the Independence referendum.

She wasted no time in reshuffling her top teams, for the first time achieving a gender balance with the same number of male and female cabinet-level ministers.

Out MSP Marco Biagi was given a junior ministerial role in the reshuffle, becoming Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment.

The appointment brings the total number of openly gay ministers in the Scottish government up to three – with Joe FitzPatrick keeping his role as Minister for Parliamentary Business, and Derek Mackay moving sideways from Local Government to Transport.

All three are in junior-level posts, with no openly gay ministers attending cabinet.

There are no lesbian ministers in Scotland – though Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson is a lesbian.


Shona Robison, who previously held the equalities brief, was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport in the reshuffle, with Alex Neil given responsibility for ‘Social Justice’.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The aims of my Government are clear: to create a nation that is both socially democratic and socially just, a nation that is confident in itself and governed effectively and a nation which will address poverty, support business, promote growth and tackle inequality.

“The new Cabinet team I have announced today will pursue these priorities with verve, vigour and determination.”