First Sturgeon government

Nicola Sturgeon formed the first Sturgeon government on 20 November 2014, following the resignation of previous Scottish National Party (SNP) First Minister Alex Salmond. Sturgeon, who had been deputy first minister under Salmond, was elected to succeed him by the SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament on 19 November 2014.

First Sturgeon government
7th devolved government of Scotland
Date formed20 November 2014
Date dissolved5 May 2016
People and organisations
MonarchElizabeth II
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Total no. of ministers25
Member partyScottish National Party
Status in legislatureMajority
Legislature term(s)4th Scottish Parliament
PredecessorSecond Salmond government
SuccessorSecond Sturgeon government


Following the defeat of the campaign for Scottish independence in a 2014 referendum, then First Minister Alex Salmond, who had arranged the referendum, announced that he would resign as Scottish National Party leader and first minister after a new leader was chosen.[1] Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took the leadership unopposed at the SNP's annual conference on 14 November 2014. This also effectively made her First Minister in waiting, given the SNP's outright majority in the Scottish Parliament. She was elected to succeed Salmond as First Minister by the Scottish Parliament on 19 November, and formally appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on the next day.[2]

On 21 November 2014 Sturgeon's first cabinet was announced. It was formed of ten people: Sturgeon and nine cabinet secretaries. It was gender-balanced with five men and five women.[3] There were thirteen junior ministerial positions outwith the cabinet.[4]

List of ministers


Post Minister Term
First Minister The Right Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP2014–16
Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy2007–16
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport Shona Robison MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights Alex Neil MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson MSP2014–16
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Richard Lochhead MSP2007–16
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP2011–16

Junior ministers[5]

Post Minister Term
Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP2014–16
Minister for Parliamentary Business Joe Fitzpatrick MSP2014–16
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay MSP2014–16
Minister for Youth and Women's Employment Annabelle Ewing MSP2014–16
Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell MSP2014–16
Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages Dr Alasdair Allan MSP2014–16
Minister for Public Health Maureen Watt MSP2014–16
Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health Jamie Hepburn MSP2014–16
Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi MSP 2014–16
Minister for Housing and Welfare Margaret Burgess MSP2014–16
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Paul Wheelhouse MSP2014–16
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Dr Aileen McLeod MSP2014–16
Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf MSP2014–16

Law officers[5]

Lord Advocate The Right Hon. Frank Mulholland QC2014–16
Solicitor General for Scotland Lesley Thomson QC2014–16


  1. Brooks, Libby (19 September 2014). "Alex Salmond's resignation could give Nicola Sturgeon her day of destiny". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  2. Campbell, Glenn (13 November 2014). "The transition from Alex Salmond to Nicola Sturgeon". BBC News. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  3. Brooks, Libby (22 November 2014). "Nicola Sturgeon announces Scottish cabinet with equal gender balance". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  4. Maddox, David; Peterkin, Tom (22 November 2014). "Nicola Sturgeon reshuffle brings gender balance". The Scotsman. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  5. "Ministers & Law Officers". Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
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