Nicola Sturegon will reshuffle her Cabinet today and has refused to rule out sacking under-fire Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
The new First Minister was keeping her cards close to her chest as the Holyrood rumour mill hit overdrive with speculation and guessing games as to the make-up of her inner circle.
Transport Minister Keith Brown was being talked about as a possible successor to Mr MacAskill, while Dundee East MSP Shona Robison is expected to seal a promotion to higher up the Cabinet table and Local Government Minister Derek Mackay’s name was also mentioned as a contender for a top job.
UPDATE: John Swinney named Scotland’s deputy first minister
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 21, 2014
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie raised the prospect of a change at justice level during First Minister’s Questions, asking: “Everyone knows that Kenny MacAskill is going, but which of his policy failures are staying?”
However, Ms Sturgeon who was last night named Scotland’s Politician of the Year ignored the mention of the man who stepped aside as a deputy contender when the now leader went for the position a decade ago as she defended the Government’s record.
It is the greatest privilege for me to be appointed Deputy First Minister of Scotland. I will do all I can to serve my country. #reshuffle
— John Swinney (@JohnSwinney) November 21, 2014
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour called on Ms Sturgeon to have a full “Cabinet clear-out”, with education and health secretaries Mike Russell and Alex Neil in the firing line alongside Mr MacAskill.
A spokesman said: “Alex Salmond resigned because he lost the referendum but the ‘three stooges,’ Alex Neil, Mike Russell and Kenny MacAskill, should all face the sack for their collective incompetence.”
He added: “If Nicola Sturgeon means what she says about having a new start then she can get rid of these failed ministers.”