Boris Johnson completed his first substantive reshuffle this week although Chancellor Sajid Javid arguably stole the limelight with an unexpected 11th hour resignation. A full list of the new UK Government is here
A mini Scottish reshuffle was triggered by Derek Mackay’s sudden resignation from the Cabinet hours before he was due to deliver the annual Scottish Budget speech. Nicola Sturgeon has made a number of other changes and the full, ‘new’, list is as follows:
• Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Kate Forbes (who also retains her current responsibility for the Digital Economy)
• Public Finance and Migration – Ben Macpherson
• Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Fiona Hyslop
• Minister for Europe and International Development (new, combined post)– Jenny Gilruth
• Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs – Michael Russell
• Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism – Fergus Ewing
The fallout from Derek Mackay’s exit from Government rather overshadowed the outcome of the Scottish Conservatives’ leadership race. After a rather lacklustre contest, former acting leader Jackson Carlaw MSP was confirmed as the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives after winning a vote of party members. Mr Carlaw had been the party’s acting leader since Ruth Davidson quit the role in August. He has now won the job full time after defeating fellow South of Scotland MSP Michelle Ballantyne by 4,917 votes to 1,581.
Mr Carlaw had been the clear favourite in the contest and was backed by most of the party’s MPs and MSPs. He said he was now “ready to hit the ground running and win” in next year’s Scottish Parliament election and has promised a full review of the party’s policies. He has now announced his own new Shadow Cabinet (below). Interestingly, there is no role for his defeated opponent, Michelle Ballantyne MSP.
· Leader – Jackson Carlaw
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Liam Kerr
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, Land Reform & COP26 – Annie Wells
· Chief Whip – Liz Smith
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Donald Cameron
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution & External Affairs – Murdo Fraser
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Strategy – Adam Tomkins
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health – Miles Briggs
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education – Jamie Greene
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work & Culture – Maurice Golden
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Business, Infrastructure & Transport – Dean Lockhart
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy & Tourism – Rachael Hamilton
· Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Communities & Social Security – Graham Simpson
The Scottish Government has published a report about the state of the economy, which claims growth this year is likely to follow a positive but below trend pattern of around 1%, similar to the past few years. Brexit uncertainty resulted in “significantly lower growth” for the economy in 2019, the report found, and this uncertainty remains a “live issue” for businesses, particularly in relation to market access to the EU.
The report shows the labour market continued to perform strongly but with a fall in employment levels over the year. Consumer sentiment continued to weaken in 2019. It concludes that the economic outlook for 2021 and beyond is “crucially dependent” on the shape of a future EU trade deal and business adjustment. Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP said: “We were clear from the outset that Brexit would damage our economy and that the best option for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland was to stay in the European Union…Trade agreements shape the nature of our economy and the situation we are in presents a particular challenge to exporters as we are taken out of the world’s biggest single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK market.”
And finally …
It was a hat trick of wins for Perceptive clients, BDP, Clyde Gateway and HBD at the Scottish Property awards last night. Clyde Gateway won Regeneration Project of the Year for its Red Tree Magenta development in Rutherglen. The event was attended by their recently appointed new chair, Alison Thewliss (SNP MP for Glasgow Central). Magenta is a new 27 acre urban business park situated next to the River Clyde and M74 being developed by Perceptive client, Highbridge Properties which has successfully developed over 13 million square feet of office and industrial space across the UK, including Cobalt, the UK’s largest office park.
BDP won the Architectural Excellence Award for a Public Use building for the £15m Maidenhill Primary School and Nursery at Newton Mearns in Glasgow. The facility was built with East Renfrewshire Council to meet the increased demand for primary and nursery places following the construction of 800 new homes in the area.
The award for Development of the Year for commercial building was scooped by The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) built by client HBD and Robertson Group with Aberdeen City Council. TECA will be the subject of our next Perceptive Directors’ club on Thursday 5 March with HBD and Turner & Townsend. If you would like to attend, do get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or email@example.com