Scotland’s government names new rural ministers

Scotland’s new cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity is Fergus Ewing, while the new cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform is Roseanna Cunningham.

Their appointments are part of the new cabinet announced by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, following the recent Scottish election. They also follow the resignation of Scotland’s former rural affairs minister, Richard Lochhead, who had held the food, farming and rural portfolio in Scotland since 2007.

“These appointments come at a hugely challenging time for the industry,” said NFU Scotland president, Allan Bowie.  “Volatile markets across every sector mean that we have seen farm incomes fall three years in a row and the huge problems encountered by Scottish Government in delivering new CAP support blew a huge hole in Scotland’s rural economy this spring.

“But, with both Ministers, we want to move forward and share the vision for Scottish farming and crofting that we mapped out in our manifesto for the election as the new parliament beds in.”

On the departure of Mr Lochhead, the union president added: “As one of the longest serving cabinet ministers, Richard was always supportive of Scottish food and farming and made himself freely available to meet with farmers, crofters and stakeholders, regardless of the issue or crisis. He was genuinely interested in the farming industry and always sought to deliver an outcome that would help all farmers and crofters.”

Fergus Ewing (pictured above) was previously Scotland’s business. energy and tourism minister. His parliamentary seat is Inverness and Nairn.

Roseanna Cunningham was previously Scotland’s minister for fair work, skills and training. Her parliamentary seat is Perthshire South and Kinross-shire.


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