Second Sturgeon government

Nicola Sturgeon formed the second Sturgeon government following her Scottish National Party's victory in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election. Sturgeon was nominated by a vote of the 5th Scottish Parliament for appointment to the post of First Minister on 17 May 2016.[1] She was subsequently appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on 18 May, and announced formation of a new Scottish National Party minority government.[2]

Second Sturgeon government
8th devolved government of Scotland
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Cabinet at Bute House, 2018.
Date formed18 May 2016
People and organisations
MonarchElizabeth II
First MinisterRt Hon Nicola Sturgeon
Deputy First MinisterJohn Swinney
Total no. of ministers25 (including First Minister)
Member partyScottish National Party
Status in legislatureMinority
Legislature term(s)5th Scottish Parliament
Budget(s)2018 budget
PredecessorFirst Sturgeon government


In the May 2016 Scottish Parliament election, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 63 of the 129 seats contested. Incumbent First Minister Nicola Sturgeon soon afterwards announced her intention to form a minority government. She was nominated for the post of First Minister by a vote of the Scottish Parliament on 17 May, defeating Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie by 63 votes to 5, with 59 abstentions.[1] Ahead of the formation of the new government, long-serving ministers Alex Neil and Richard Lochhead announced their resignations from the cabinet.[3] Sturgeon recommended the appointment of James Wolffe as Lord Advocate and Alison Di Rollo as Solicitor General on 31 May 2016. Their recommendation was confirmed by the Scottish Parliament on the same day.[4]

Nicola Sturgeon announced a cabinet reshuffle on 26 June 2018.[5]

List of ministers


Post Minister Term
First Minister The Right Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP2016–present
Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP2016–present
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills 2016–present
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay MSP2016–present
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Shona Robison MSP 2016–2018
Jeane Freeman MSP 2018–present
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP2016–present
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP2016–present
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Angela Constance MSP 2016–2018
Aileen Campbell MSP 2018–present
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson MSP2016–2018
Humza Yousaf MSP 2018–present
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown MSP2016–2018
Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing MSP2016–present
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP 2018–present
Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations Mike Russell MSP2018–present
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson MSP2018–present

Junior ministers[8]

Post Minister Term
Minister for Childcare and Early Years Maree Todd MSP2017–present
Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP2016–2018
Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans Joe FitzPatrick MSP2016–2018
Graeme Dey MSP 2018–present
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Humza Yousaf MSP2016–2018
Paul Wheelhouse MSP2018–present
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Paul Wheelhouse MSP2016–2018
Jamie Hepburn MSP2018–present
Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Aileen Campbell MSP2016–2018
Joe FitzPatrick MSP2018–present
Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt MSP2016–2018
Clare Haughey MSP2018–present
Minister for Community Safety Annabelle Ewing MSP2016–2018
Ash Denham MSP2018–present
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart MSP2016–present
Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman OBE MSP2016–2018
Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development Alasdair Allan MSP2016–2018
Ben Macpherson MSP2018–present
Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe Michael Russell MSP2016–2018
Minister for Older People and Equalities Christina McKelvie MSP2018–present
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee MSP2018–present
Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy Kate Forbes MSP2018–present
Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon MSP2018–present

Law officers[4]

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC2016–
Solicitor General for Scotland Alison Di Rollo QC2016–


  1. "Nicola Sturgeon wins Scottish first minister vote". BBC News. BBC. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  2. "Scottish cabinet reshuffle: John Swinney becomes education secretary". BBC News. BBC. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  3. "Alex Neil and Richard Lochhead step down from Holyrood cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  4. "Law Officer appointments". Scottish Government. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  5. Carrell, Severin (26 June 2018). "Nicola Sturgeon carries out major reshuffle of Scottish cabinet". The Guardian.
  6. "New Scottish Cabinet unveiled". Scottish Government. 18 May 2016. Archived from the original on 19 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  7. "Ministers & Law Officers". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  8. "First Minister completes ministerial team". Scottish Government. 18 May 2016. Archived from the original on 19 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
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