Ministers and Junior Ministers

– in the Scottish Parliament at 9:30 am on 21st May 2003.

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Photo of George Reid George Reid None 9:30 am, 21st May 2003

The next item of business is consideration of motions on the appointment of Scottish ministers and junior Scottish ministers. I will ask the First Minister to move motion S2M-52, on the appointment of Scottish ministers and to speak to both the motions in his name. I will then invite members to move the amendments that I have selected. I will then ask the First Minister to move formally motion S2M-53, on the appointment of junior ministers. As no amendments to that motion have been lodged, I then intend to move straight to open debate on both motions. The Deputy First Minister will wind up the debate and I will put the questions on both motions and all amendments.

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 9:32 am, 21st May 2003

I ask Parliament to support a team whose members have served Scotland well, will represent their country to the best of their ability and, I am sure, will display passion as they face difficult challenges. I hope that today, in this Parliament, we can put old divisions behind us and join together in wishing Celtic well in Seville tonight. [ Applause. ] We all have one message for Martin O'Neill and the bhoys—win for Scotland tonight and do us proud.

I hope to secure the Parliament's support for the appointment of Peter Peacock, Nicol Stephen and Frank McAveety to ministerial office, and for the appointment of Tom McCabe and Tavish Scott as junior ministers. Last week, we set out a partnership agreement that will reform and improve public services in Scotland, grow the economy and tackle crime, and help build a better Scotland. The partnership agreement is about making a difference for the people of Scotland, but it needs people who can take responsibility for implementing it. Today in Parliament, I recommend those very people. I believe that we have the right people, in the right size team, in the right jobs, at the right time for Scotland.

Before I go any further I place on record my thanks to Iain Gray, the former Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning. I have said this elsewhere, but I would like to say it in Parliament. I think that, across the parties, everybody would agree that few have made as much of an impact as Iain Gray made as a minister in his various portfolios over the last four years. We all wish him well.

That change was forced upon me by the election, but appointing a smaller ministerial team has led to other changes. Those are hard decisions, which have been made much more difficult by the hard work of those around me over recent months. I thank Mike Watson, Des McNulty and Elaine Murray for the contribution that they have made as ministers over the last 18 months and I look forward to the contribution that they will make in the Scottish Parliament over the next four years.

Some of yesterday's appointments are not covered by the motion. I am delighted to be able to appoint the Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, as the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. He has been an excellent Minister for Justice, but I think that his appointment as Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning reaffirms our commitment to growing the Scottish economy and the centrality of that objective in our partnership agreement.

Cathy Jamieson has moved forward our education reforms over the last 18 months but, critically, has adopted a smarter, quicker and sharper approach to youth justice and to children's services. She now has a very big job to do as the new Minister for Justice, but I know that she is the right person to do it and I wish her well.

Andy Kerr, Patricia Ferguson, Ross Finnie, Malcolm Chisholm and Margaret Curran have been reappointed to their previous posts. I am confident that they can build on their recent work to develop and implement the reforms and policies that we have agreed.

Peter Peacock shares my passion for education and opportunities for young people. He knows that we need to drive up school standards, improve discipline and create a culture of ambition in the classroom. He will be an excellent Minister for Education and Young People. I recommend him to the Parliament and I am sure that he will be a success.

It is also right at this time to have around the Cabinet table specific voices for transport and for tourism, culture and sport. Nicol Stephen and Frank McAveety have a record as ministers, as well as experience before becoming MSPs, which they can use to be successful in their new posts. We can all have confidence in them.

In addition to confirming Allan Wilson, Lewis Macdonald, Hugh Henry, Mary Mulligan and Euan Robson as deputy ministers, I am also pleased today to recommend Tom McCabe and Tavish Scott as new appointments for the new session. To both I say welcome back. Tom McCabe is an experienced moderniser who will ably assist Malcolm Chisholm in reforming the national health service to secure maximum improvement for our record investment. Tavish Scott will bring all his talents to bear in assisting Andy Kerr and Patricia Ferguson to deliver value for money in our budget and our parliamentary programme and the legislation that Scotland needs.

Finally, I mention two other appointments that are not covered by the motions but were reaffirmed yesterday. I believe that Colin Boyd, as Lord Advocate, and Elish Angiolini, as Solicitor General for Scotland, have been excellent ambassadors for the Parliament, as well as law officers for Scotland. Although they are not elected MSPs, they have taken their responsibilities to the Parliament very seriously. That is part of the new Scotland that we are trying to create. Their reforms of our court system and of our justice system will have long-lasting benefits for victims, for others and for Scotland in the years to come. I am delighted that they have been reappointed.

I am happy to recommend the team to the Scottish Parliament. I hope that they will secure the Parliament's support today. Throughout the country, we hope that Celtic will raise its game tonight. I assure the Parliament that the members of this team will raise their game too and that over the next four years we will deliver real improvements in Scotland and will help to build the better Scotland that we all want.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that Peter Peacock, Mr Frank McAveety and Nicol Stephen be appointed as Ministers.

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party 9:38 am, 21st May 2003

I associate the Scottish National Party with the First Minister's comments about Celtic's football match in Seville tonight. I wish the team every success. Believe me, that is a cross-party gesture in every respect.

I heard the First Minister say the other day that because of pressing Government business relating to the appointment of his ministerial team he was unable to travel to Seville to support Celtic. I have to say that having seen the modest changes that he has made to his Administration he would have been as well going to Seville to support Celtic. I wish Celtic every success in the match tonight.

There are few opportunities to comment on the appointments proposed by the First Minister, particularly when so many of the previous ministerial team are returning. I do not oppose the appointment of Peter Peacock in order to question his ability to do the job—although the electorate of Moray certainly seemed to prefer Margaret Ewing to Peter Peacock—but to comment on the proposed Administration.

The changes that were made yesterday missed an opportunity. I welcome the fact that there are two fewer ministers, but the First Minister had an opportunity to go much further and he did not take it. A more sizeable reduction in the ministerial team would be a sign that the new Scottish Executive will get tough on the waste of public money caused by the vast size of government in Scotland.

The lesson of yesterday is that, faced with a big opportunity to change, the First Minister will choose only to tinker at the margins. We said last week that we would give the First Minister fair wind with his proposals when he had good ideas. Only the First Minister can explain how increasing the size of the Cabinet is consistent with cutting the size of the Government.

There are other reasons to question the proposals. Sentence 1 in section 1 of the partnership agreement says:

"Growing the economy is our top priority."

I warmly welcome that bold aim, but it begs the question how. After four years in which Scotland has had the lowest economic growth rate in Europe, and given that there was zero growth last year, how does the Government intend to transform Scotland's economic fortunes?

Yesterday, we were given the answers—Jim Wallace and Nicol Stephen. Henry McLeish, Wendy Alexander and Iain Gray may all have failed, but here come the Liberals. [Applause.] I notice that the Labour members are not cheering. Jim Wallace and Nicol Stephen are the latest members to attempt the seemingly impossible task of transforming Scotland's economy with virtually no economic powers. The reality is that Scotland does not need more enterprise ministers; we need more economic powers for the Parliament. Without those powers, Mr Wallace and Mr Stephen, however talented they may or may not be, will be no more successful than their predecessors.

Apart from the target on the economy, the partnership agreement sets another bold target. It says:

"We will ... work to end child poverty by tackling deprivation and social need."

The first step in the crusade against child poverty is the huge one of renaming the Minister for Social Justice as the Minister for Communities. Changing the title does not change the fact that 320,000 children in Scotland live in poverty, nor does it change the fact that the Minister for Social Justice in the old Administration had virtually no power to tackle child poverty and that the Minister for Communities in this Administration has virtually no power to tackle child poverty.

Even within the existing powers of the Parliament, the First Minister has missed an opportunity. He could have made a genuine effort to create a more focused Government structure; instead, he has created sort-of Cabinet ministers—deputy ministers whose basis for sitting at the Cabinet table is unequal to that of their colleagues. That mess smacks of satisfying a Liberal demand for three seats at the Cabinet table, but it does not satisfy the needs of good government.

For those reasons, I oppose the appointment of the new minister. I oppose the appointment because ministers claim to pursue goals that they know they are powerless to achieve and because the Government is still too big and unwieldy. The creation of a two-tier Cabinet will do nothing to change that.

I move amendment S2M-52.1, to leave out "Peter Peacock".

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I apologise for being late. Will you clarify for me whether, according to sections 44 and 47 of the Scotland Act 1998 and the standing orders of the Parliament, the purpose of this morning's proceedings is to endorse the First Minister's choice of ministerial colleagues or to comment on the First Minister's team? The two things are different—one presupposes that we sit in judgment on the suitability of the individuals chosen and the other presupposes that we should pass comment on the strategy that the First Minister has outlined.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The purpose of business today is to endorse the ministerial team proposed by the First Minister and to allow members to comment on it.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Since the First Minister has been duly elected and stamped as fit for use by Her Majesty and can choose his ministerial team, what is the purpose of this meeting? If, in future, the Parliament finds the First Minister wanting, we can use the time-honoured tradition of moving a motion of no confidence.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

Under the Scotland Act 1998, it is for Parliament to endorse the team that the First Minister proposes. That is perfectly clear.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I apologise for taking up Parliament's time, but if we are lumbered with irrelevant proceedings simply because they are in the Scotland Act 1998—if I am correct, the matter went undebated at Westminster—why do we not change them?

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

That is a matter for consideration, but at present we must work within the existing procedures.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party 9:44 am, 21st May 2003

I preface my remarks by saying that they relate to the nature of the office of Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport and to the structure of the Cabinet, not to the ability or competence of the minister involved. Frank McAveety is one of the most convivial members; he served ably and competently as a deputy minister and I am sure that he is perfectly capable of doing the job.

My objections are twofold. First, I object to the creation of a hybrid—ministers who attend the full Cabinet, but who receive the pay of a deputy minister. Secondly, I object to the nature of the post—the absence of key powers means that the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport will be unable to do the job properly.

On my first objection, Mr McAveety has been elevated to the Cabinet from his position as a deputy, but is he a senior junior minister because he is in the Cabinet, or a junior senior minister because he is not on full pay? He is not a junior junior as he is politically within, but he is not a senior senior as he is financially without. What powers do the new breed of ministers possess? Is voting salary weighted? Are the new ministers politically as well as financially worth less around the Cabinet table? Are they on trial? If they deliver, will they be promoted and receive full pay and status? The corollary is that if a current senior senior minister fails to deliver, they could face being reduced to a senior junior, which might cause a ripple of fear round the Cabinet table.

My second objection is about the powers of the new minister. The full list and job description are clear. The position moved from being a deputy post in the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department at the commencement of the previous parliamentary session to being a full Cabinet position and has now been reduced to a hybrid post. Does the position have the powers to deliver what is necessary for the tourism industry, which, after all, is our biggest industry? Does the position have the powers and financial levers to deal with marketing, training and accessibility?

Reserved matters are fundamentally important, but let us leave them aside and address some generalities. Do business rates fall within the domain of the new minister? No. Does training fall within his domain? No—it appears to remain with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the enterprise network, which are within the responsibility of the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department. However, everyone accepts that training is important if we are to improve the quality of service.

Accessibility is fundamental for our island nation because we require visitors to come and we cannot simply move visitors about. However, the responsibility for transport is elsewhere. Let us consider some specifics. One of the most important accessibility issues for tourism in the north is that of landing charges and the disincentive for low-cost carriers or other operators to operate reasonably priced flights in and out of Inverness airport, never mind other airports. However, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd does not appear to fall within the new minister's remit, but remains elsewhere.

The Scottish National Party supported the route development fund, which was initiated in the previous session. However, that fund was announced by Lewis Macdonald, as Deputy Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning. Who is in charge now? Is it with Mr Macdonald and enterprise, with Mr Stephen and transport or with Mr McAveety and tourism? Who is in charge of the route development fund and its impact on tourism?

The proposals seem to have been fixed by the master fixer to reduce the Cabinet, but it is a short-term fix that will unravel. To describe the proposals using a Scottish term from the fishing domain, they are a typical guddle.

I move amendment S2M-52.3, to leave out "Mr Frank McAveety".

Photo of David McLetchie David McLetchie Conservative 9:48 am, 21st May 2003

New members of the Parliament would be forgiven for thinking that the appointment of ministers is a special occasion. However, I assure them that the event comes round with monotonous regularity. I will move the Conservative amendment, which would delete the name of Nicol Stephen from the motion. I stress that I will do so not on personal grounds, but simply because of what his appointment symbolises.

In his speech last week, the First Minister said:

"For this second session, there must be no business as usual or simply more of the same."—[Official Report, 15 May 2003; c 25.]

Sadly, the new ministerial team shows that that is exactly what we are going to get. In many respects, things are getting even worse. The separation of transport from the enterprise brief to accommodate Nicol Stephen is simply another make-work job creation scheme—it is not a new deal, but a poor deal.

No doubt, the First Minister will claim that he has reduced the size of government in Scotland, but his meagre reduction in the overall tally is mere tokenism. It cannot hide the fact that there will now be 11 people jostling around the Cabinet table, whereas in the locust year of 1999 we had only 10. That means that there will be 11 ministers, all eager to prove that they can run our lives better than we can run our own, by introducing more legislation, more regulation and more dictation, exemplified by the 40 bills that we are led to expect over the next four years.

That flawed approach will prove no more successful in this second session of Parliament than it did in the first. This is a huge opportunity missed. Mr McConnell sent out signals throughout the election campaign that he accepted the need for slimming down government. However, the McConnell diet involves simply more main course, but less of the trimmings. The end result is much the same and is just as unpalatable to the electorate—but then, that is what we have come to expect from Mr McConnell: all talk and no action.

And so the public will continue to see the politicians in the Scottish Government putting their interests before those of the Scottish people. Make no mistake—the failure to reduce significantly the size of government is all about retaining discipline within the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups by offering the prospect of sharing in the trappings of power. Many have done so before and to the dispossessed and the disappointed, Mr Tom McCabe is proof that there is life after political death. I assure the happy band of brothers and sisters who have yet to experience the delights of office that their time will indeed come, as long as they keep voting the right way.

It would be churlish not to congratulate the three individuals—Peter Peacock, Frank McAveety and Nicol Stephen—who have now reached the giddy heights of Cabinet rank. Mr McAveety is a welcome addition to the fold after his earlier meteoric rise was brought to an abrupt halt when he backed the wrong horse in the 2.30 instead of waiting for the 3 o'clock. As the MSP for Celtic Park, he will no doubt shortly be renaming VisitScotland "Visit Shettleston".

While congratulating those climbing the greasy pole today, we should spare a thought for those who have been less fortunate. Some may have contributed to their own downfall, but just what did poor Des do? Appointed only on 28 November, he finds that he is now the make-weight in an exchange deal that sees Tavish Scott parachuted back into the Government. Of course Mr Scott is a talented man—and if members do not believe me, just ask him. Apparently he is to be the Liberal Democrat business manager and chief whip—a role that he fulfilled in the past with a conspicuous lack of success. Indeed Mr Scott has previous on that and, uniquely, is a gamekeeper turned poacher turned gamekeeper again.

The First Minister has wasted an early chance to make a bold statement of intent with these appointments. We all know, from weeks of campaigning, that the Parliament's tarnished reputation is in need of rebuilding, but a glaring opportunity to make a fresh and positive start is being squandered. That is why the Scottish Conservatives will continue to press in the Parliament for a genuine programme to reduce the excessive size and cost of government in Scotland. We have been calling for that for four years. Mr Swinney and the Scottish National Party finally woke up to the need for it about eight weeks ago. Converts to Conservative policies are always welcome and there are plenty more where that one came from.

Mr McConnell should reflect on the fact that his Administration was reluctantly given a second chance by the Scottish people on 1 May. If they see no change, they will not give him a third.

I move amendment S2M-52.2, to leave out "and Nicol Stephen."

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

I now call the First Minister to move formally motion S2M-53, on the appointment of junior Scottish ministers.

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

In the best tradition of Euan Robson, I say, "Formally moved." Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees that Mr Tom McCabe and Tavish Scott be appointed as junior Scottish Ministers.—[First Minister.]

Photo of Eleanor Scott Eleanor Scott Green 9:54 am, 21st May 2003

I am very glad to speak on behalf of Scotland's other green team. I welcome in particular the appointment of the new Minister for Transport and wish him well in his term of office.

The transport portfolio has had a bit of a rocky history in the short life of the Scottish Parliament. We started with a Minister for Transport and the Environment—a combination that Robin Harper welcomed as reasonable—and Sarah Boyack was a minister with whom we felt we could work, despite disagreements. We were disappointed when transport was added to the enterprise portfolio, because we felt that that gave transport completely the wrong set of priorities. We are glad to see that transport now has a portfolio of its own and we hope that the Minister for Transport will recognise the links between not only transport and the economy but transport and the environment and, importantly, transport and the nation's health.

This green team read the partnership agreement with a lot of interest as it promised plenty of green policies. Those policies, I can tell readers who would not recognise a green policy, were marked with a little tree. The transport section contained quite a piece of woodland and the Green group could certainly support proposals in it. It is unfortunate that that little woodland seems destined to be crossed by a large motorway. If the new Minister for Transport is to retain any environmental credibility, he must make it clear that his transport strategy does not include the proposed M74 extension. Those few miles of motorway would cost more than the Parliament building is costing, cause immense destruction to the communities through which they would pass, increase traffic and pollution, and do nothing for the 60 per cent of households in the area that do not have a car. If the minister supports the M74 extension, his environmental credentials will be in tatters and his woodland will have been clear felled.

There are pledges in the transport section that the Greens will support and I welcome the fact that transport has at last been given a minister to itself. However, we are deeply disappointed that the environment has not been given a separate minister. The environment is as much about urban issues as it is about rural issues and it should not be combined with rural development, which merits its own minister, given the crisis in our countryside. In almost every country there is a dedicated minister for the environment. The fact that there is no such minister in Scotland says something about the Executive's green credentials, as, I am sorry to say, does the fact that the incumbent Minister for Environment and Rural Development—the man who continues to allow genetically modified crops to grow in Scotland's open environment—retains his post. Members can expect to hear more about that from the Green benches. [Interruption.] Excuse me, but I have lost my page. I will continue without notes.

We hope that Mr Finnie will earn his trees and will not allow them to be clear felled. He could do that, right now, by insisting on the destruction of the GM crop trial that is flowering in a field in Fife. He could put an end to the experiment whereby the people of Newport-on-Tay, and their children, are becoming guinea pigs in an experiment to breathe in GM pollen. He could end that now and improve the Executive's credentials at a stroke. I suggest that he do so.

Photo of Dennis Canavan Dennis Canavan Independent 9:58 am, 21st May 2003

Before we vote on the ministerial appointments, I would be grateful if the First Minister would give a fuller explanation of why two Cabinet ministers are to receive reduced salaries. I am all in favour of reducing ministerial salaries, but why have two ministers been singled out instead of all ministerial salaries being reduced across the board? I understand that the total amount that will be saved by the two reduced salaries is only about £60,000 per annum, so the move looks a bit like a token gesture rather than a serious attempt to save money. I am concerned that if only two ministers are singled out, there may be a resultant loss of status, not so much for the ministers but for the functions for which they are responsible.

Transport is an important issue and so are sport, culture and tourism. I suspect that Frank McAveety would just love to grab his new portfolio and run to catch the next flight in order to sample the tourism and the cultural and sporting delights of Seville. However, I remind him that another important sporting event occurs this Friday, when the Scottish Premier League meets to decide whether Falkirk Football Club, as champions of the first division of the Scottish Football League, should be allowed promotion to the Scottish Premier League. Before we vote, I remind Frank McAveety that, before the recent election, a majority of MSPs backed my motion calling on the Scottish Premier League to

"ensure that the champions of the First Division of the Scottish Football League are given the opportunity of promotion to the Scottish Premier League provided they have guaranteed use of a suitable stadium, whether through ownership or lease or a ground-sharing arrangement."

During the debate on 26 March, the then Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Elaine Murray, indicated that the Executive would be happy to participate in any dialogue between interested parties about the SPL's membership rules. She also expressed the hope that a resolution could be found that would allow the best clubs to gain the promotion that they deserve. I therefore wrote to the First Minister last week to ask him to use his good offices to initiate the kind of dialogue to which Elaine Murray referred. As I have not yet had a reply, I would be grateful for an assurance from either the First Minister or the new Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport that the Scottish Executive will remind the SPL of the Scottish Parliament's view before Friday's meeting.

It would be a travesty of justice if Falkirk were denied promotion to the SPL. The Scottish Executive should do everything possible to ensure that justice is done.

Photo of Annabel Goldie Annabel Goldie Conservative 10:02 am, 21st May 2003

I rise to oppose the motion on the appointment of junior ministers.

Today, the First Minister has achieved something quite remarkable, even by his standards. In the face of a damning verdict by the voters that devolution under his governance is synonymous with apathy, atrophy, impotence and waste, does he offer radical reform, innovation, good use of public money, or even a bit of spice? If only. Instead, on the table is a dreary dish entitled the "partnership agreement", by comparison with which cold suet pudding would look appetising. The agreement bears all the scars of compromise, fudge, horse-trading and barter and is to be delivered by the good old bloated coalition Executive. I say to the First Minister that that is not a good start. Is this the same First Minister who recently told the people of Scotland, "I have listened"? If this is an example of the First Minister listening, a hearing aid is urgently required.

My sympathy goes out to the hapless souls who are charged with delivering on this uninspiring and dreich programme. It will take more than the aquiline elegance of Tavish Scott or the Paisley pugnacity of Hugh Henry, or even that likeable cross between a Lanarkshire weasel and a ferret, Tom McCabe, to bring life to this downbeat political prospectus. And what about the mongrels? I know not what other title to ascribe to Nicol Stephen and Frank McAveety, who are apparently not senior enough to be paid the full whack but not junior enough to join their colleagues on the junior benches. Indeed, even Mr McAveety's disconcerting similarity to a mature Harry Potter offers little hope. All the magic in Hogwarts Academy could not transform this turgid political dish, which is beyond miracles.

I offer advice to Tavish Scott, Hugh Henry, Euan Robson, Tom McCabe, Mary Mulligan, Allan Wilson and their mongrel associates. If not even decking them out with white-and-green hooped shirts or festooning them with Seville oranges will attract the public's attention, I say to the junior ministers, "Carpe diem"—I hold to the view that classics and culture are not dead in this Parliament—"get a life and resign. Return to the back benches. Be yourselves. Bring some zest into the Parliament. Challenge rather than acquiesce. Save the taxpayer money and be the sacrifice to deliver leaner, more focused government. Take a significant step to dispel apathy, atrophy and impotence." Such a step would be something for which those junior ministers really would be recognised and remembered by the public.

I oppose the motion on the appointment of junior ministers.

Photo of Jim Wallace Jim Wallace Liberal Democrat 10:05 am, 21st May 2003

I echo the comments of the First Minister and John Swinney, which I am sure would be echoed throughout the chamber, in sending support to Celtic Football Club as it approaches tonight's final in Seville. We all wish Celtic well. I am sure that Celtic and its fans will be great ambassadors for Scotland. I certainly hope that tomorrow—or later tonight, but no doubt carrying on into tomorrow—we can celebrate a victory. Indeed, on meeting the press yesterday for the first time after being named Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Frank McAveety is said to have answered the question which was his favourite opera by saying without hesitation that it was "The Barber of Seville". I am sure that he must be disappointed that he will not be able to go out there in his new role.

It is interesting that the other speakers have gone out of their way to say that they do not attack the personalities of Peter Peacock, Frank McAveety, Nicol Stephen, Tom McCabe or Tavish Scott. Nor should they, as those are five very talented people who will contribute greatly, and indeed already have done so, to public service through ministerial office in Scotland.

It was also interesting to hear the rival speeches of John Swinney and Kenny MacAskill—I think that John Swinney just won on the clapometer. When Kenny MacAskill went on about how many things Frank McAveety ought to have charge of in order to boost tourism, about the only thing that he stopped short of including among Frank McAveety's responsibilities was early training in schools. Kenny MacAskill was in danger of saying that Frank McAveety should be in charge of everything, but we all know that Kenny MacAskill's speech was really about who should be in charge of the SNP.

Of course, in both SNP speeches the answer to everything was further constitutional change and upheaval. The independence word, which the SNP would not use in the election campaign, is creeping back into circulation. Anyone who thinks that enterprise would be assisted and growth boosted by a further bout of constitutional navel-gazing is living—

Photo of Phil Gallie Phil Gallie Conservative

Given the minister's failures in justice, what does he think that he will bring to enterprise?

Photo of Jim Wallace Jim Wallace Liberal Democrat

If I can raise the growth rate in Scotland by the amount that I raised police numbers, which were increased to record levels, we will be doing very well indeed.

We have heard the well-worn record from David McLetchie and Annabel Goldie about the number of ministers. In speeches such as today's, they always want reductions in the number of ministers, but that is not the case in debates that are not about ministerial appointments. Bill Aitken wanted

"a minister with special responsibility for Glasgow"—[Official Report, 17 May 2000; Vol 6, c 666.]

If we look at the date on which he said that, we see that it was when the Parliament was meeting in Glasgow. David Davidson has said:

"Tourism is a vital business, with great potential for Scotland. It requires full-time, hands-on management in the Executive."—[Official Report, 17 February 2000; Vol 4, c 1158.]

Not to be left out, Annabel Goldie has asked at question time:

"Does the minister agree that it might send out a useful message to the audience beyond this chamber if the Executive considered appointing a minister with sole responsibility for dealing with drug abuse in Scotland?"—[Official Report, 7 October 1999; Vol 2, c 1174.]

The Tories talk the talk, but they have constantly proposed additional ministers.

Let me pick up on what Eleanor Scott said when she welcomed the appointment of the Minister for Transport. Indeed, Nicol Stephen recalled yesterday how Jo Grimond once said that he would take a transport minister seriously only when he saw the minister on a train or standing at a bus stop. We look forward to seeing Nicol Stephen on trains and standing at bus stops in the coming weeks. However, the point is that under the partnership agreement, which has a green thread sewn right through it, every minister is an environment minister with responsibility for taking forward policies on sustainability.

Last week, when we published the partnership agreement, we laid solid foundations for the next four years: in promoting good health and ensuring that patients are the focus of the health service; in education to raise standards; in tackling crime; and in growing an enterprise economy. The people are now in place to build on those foundations and, if Parliament supports the recommendations in the motion today, we will be set on course for real and lasting achievement in the next four years.

I support the motions.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

I will now put the question on the motions and amendments. The first question is, that amendment S2M-52.1, in the name of John Swinney, which seeks to amend motion S2M-52, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of Scottish ministers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 1

For: Canavan, Dennis, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Rob, Grahame, Christine, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Martin, Campbell, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Mr Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Mr Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Mr Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Johnstone, Alex, MacDonald, Margo, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, John, Swinburne, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The result of the division is: For 24, Against 67, Abstentions 28.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The next question is, that amendment S2M-52.3, in the name of Kenny MacAskill, which seeks to amend motion S2M-52, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of Scottish ministers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 2

For: Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Rob, Grahame, Christine, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Martin, Campbell, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Mr Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Mr Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Canavan, Dennis, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Mr Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Johnstone, Alex, MacDonald, Margo, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, John, Swinburne, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The result of the division is: For 23, Against 68, Abstentions 28.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The next question is, that amendment S2M-52.2, in the name of Alex Johnstone, which seeks to amend motion S2M-52, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of Scottish ministers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 3

For: Aitken, Bill, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Mr Rob, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Grahame, Christine, Hyslop, Fiona, Johnstone, Alex, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Martin, Campbell, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Mr Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Mr Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Canavan, Dennis, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Mr Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, MacDonald, Margo, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The result of the division is: For 40, Against 69, Abstentions 10.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The next question is, that motion S2M-52, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of Scottish ministers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 4

For: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Mr Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Canavan, Dennis, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Mr Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Aitken, Bill, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Mr Rob, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Johnstone, Alex, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Martin, Campbell, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Mr Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, John, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Abstentions: MacDonald, Margo, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The result of the division is: For 68, Against 48, Abstentions 3.

Motion agreed to.

That the Parliament agrees that Peter Peacock, Mr Frank McAveety and Nicol Stephen be appointed as Ministers.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

In consequence, as the Parliament has now agreed the First Minister's recommendations, he may now invite Her Majesty to approve the appointment of Peter Peacock, Frank McAveety and Nicol Stephen as Scottish ministers.

The next question is, that motion S2M-53, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of junior Scottish ministers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 5

For: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Mr Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Mr Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Aitken, Bill, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Canavan, Dennis, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Mr Rob, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Johnstone, Alex, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Martin, Campbell, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Mr Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, John, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Abstentions: Baird, Shiona, MacDonald, Margo, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The result of the division is: For 67, Against 48, Abstentions 4.

Motion agreed to.

That the Parliament agrees that Mr Tom McCabe and Tavish Scott be appointed as junior Scottish Ministers.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

In consequence, as the Parliament has agreed the First Minister's recommendations, he may now invite Her Majesty to approve the appointment of Tom McCabe and Tavish Scott as junior Scottish ministers.

Meeting suspended until 14:30.

On resuming—