A senior Conservative paid tribute to cabinet casualty Shona Robison as Holyrood signed off Nicola Sturgeon’s new ministerial team.
Jackson Carlaw, the Tory deputy leader in Scotland, said Ms Robison has “not had troubles to seek”, in a nod to the difficulties in the Dundee East MSP’s private life.
Ms Robison has lost her parents, experienced a health scare and suffered a public break-up of her marriage to Dundee MP Stewart Hosie.
She is one of three cabinet secretaries who are out of the government following the First Minster’s ministerial reshuffle.
Mr Carlaw said the former Health Secretary was “enormously committed to the NHS” and “tremendously well-briefed on health issues”.
He added: “She hasn’t had troubles to seek and I hope that all is well with you and I certainly on behalf of everyone in this party – even if we think fresh leadership in health right now be the right course going forward – wish Shona Robison our thanks and our very best wishes for the future.”
Ms Sturgeon accepted Ms Robison’s resignation on Tuesday after months of calls from opponents to step down.
She was heavily criticised for failing to get a grip on the NHS Tayside cash crisis, as well as GP shortages and poor waiting times for patients.
The cabinet has swelled from 10 to 12 members, with Humza Yousaf as Justice Secretary and Fife MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville in as Social Security Secretary.
Angus representatives Mairi Gougeon and Graeme Dey are among the new additions to the junior ministerial team.