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Fergus Ewing 'delighted' Fiona Hyslop is appointed transport secretary overseeing the A9

By Scott Maclennan

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The experienced MSP Fiona Hyslop has been promoted from transport minister to transport secretary.
The experienced MSP Fiona Hyslop has been promoted from transport minister to transport secretary.

Fiona Hyslop has just been appointed the new cabinet secretary for transport and so will now be in charge of the A9 dualling programme.

The move was prompted by First Minister Humza Yousaf’s cabinet reshuffle in the wake of Michael Matheson’s resignation on Thursday morning.

Critic of the Scottish Government’s handling of dualling, SNP Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing said he was “personally delighted” with the appointment.

But at the same time he promised to maintain the pressure on the government so it fulfils the programme saying: "no ifs and no buts - it must simply be done."

Ms Hyslop has been an MSP since 1999 and her promotion from transport minister to transport secretary marks her third stint in cabinet under a third First Minister.

It is also significant because as Mr Yousaf said: “I am elevating Transport to a Cabinet level post, given the importance of the issues within this portfolio.

“Fiona Hyslop is one of the most experienced and accomplished ministers in government.”

He added: “I'm proud that Cabinet will become world-leading, with 7 women of its 10 members.”

Just prior to being handed the role she was to have taken part in one of the drop-in sessions in Inverness dedicated to the new A9 dualling programme.

Her predecessor Mairi McAllan retains a net zero brief which will be combined with the wellbeing economy role.

Fergus Ewing said: "Of all the people the First Minister had available to him no one has put more effort into the A9 dualling than Fiona.

"She's an extremely experienced MSP and capable cabinet secretary with a long history within the SNP so I'm personally delighted with her appointment.

"For my part, I look forward to working with her to deliver on the SNP promise and I will continue to exert every last bit of pressure on the government to ensure that it fulfils its obligation to the people of the Highlands.

"That includes addressing the late 2025 financial review into the private finance option, which is totally unsatisfactory at this stage.

"I've been clear all along - the renewed programme must have no ifs and no buts - it must simply be done."

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