Alex Neil MSP has been appointed as the new Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being in the Scottish Government, following a reshuffle of the ministerial team by First Minister Alex Salmond. Nicola Sturgeon MSP – Mr Salmond’s Deputy and Scotland’s longest serving Health Secretary – has been moved to the position of Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, where she will take a leading role in the preparations for the forthcoming independence referendum.
Mr Neil has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since the first elections in 1999. He spent 12 years as a regional list member representing Central Scotland, and then in 2011 he won the Airdrie and Shotts constituency seat. He joined the SNP front bench in 2009 as Housing Minister and then in 2011 he was promoted to the Cabinet, taking on a newly created role with responsibility for infrastructure and capital investment.
A former student Labour Party activist, Mr Neil joined the SNP in 1985. Prior to his election to the Scottish Parliament he ran his own economic consultancy business and served on several bodies that promoted enterprise.
Michael Matheson MSP has retained his post as Minister for Public Health with responsibility for dentistry.