Scottish transport Minister Kevin Stewart has tendered his resignation to the First Minister and stepped down from his ministerial post for health-related reasons.
Mr Stewart previously served as the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning from 2016 , and Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care from 2021. Mr Stewart was appointed Transport Minister in March 2023.
Accepting his resignation, the First Minister thanked him for his service, particularly his support during the pandemic and said he hoped he would feel able to serve again in the future.
You can read the the full text of both letters below:
Kevin Stewart’s letter to the First Minister:
I am writing to you with a heavy heart to resign as your government’s Minister for Transport.
It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve the people of Scotland in three ministerial positions under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon and yourself and I do hope that I have made a positive difference for our people and our country.
Since last October I have had bouts of poor mental health, with a low ebb in early December of last year. Over the last week or so I have once again been feeling unwell and I feel that I can no longer put in the hours required to serve both my constituents and hold ministerial office, whilst also trying to maintain good mental health. I do hope that you understand.
You can be assured that I will continue to serve my Aberdeen Central constituents to the very best of my ability and will continue to support you and your government from the backbenches.
First Minister’s letter to Kevin Stewart:
I was very sorry to get your letter of resignation.
Many people underestimate the pressure on Ministers and I understand why you have felt the need to leave government to concentrate on your mental health and much loved constituency.
You leave with a record you can be proud of. As well as taking on transport in the last two months where you invested in buses and focused on improving the position on ferries, your previous roles have benefitted from your expertise and experience.
It was a privilege to work alongside you when you served as Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care from 2021 to 2023. I greatly appreciated your hard work which included overseeing development of our forthcoming mental health and wellbeing plan and, vitally, to increase social care wages benefiting thousands of people across the country.
As Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning from 2016 to 2021, you changed how we tackle homelessness through establishing HARSAG and implementing a Housing First and Rapid Rehousing approach. You introduced planning legislation and fuel poverty targets and, crucially, ensured there was a major boost in the supply of affordable housing.
I also know you were a huge and valued help to many Ministers across government through the pandemic and that solidarity and support was deeply felt.
I know what a hard-working, loyal and dedicated Minister you have been in your eight years of service. That is much valued and appreciated by me and across government, and I hope you will feel able to serve again in the future.
Personally, I will miss you in government and I know you will be of huge benefit to our backbenches, within our great party, and will remain a source of counsel for many, myself included.
I wish you all the very best and please know we are here to provide whatever support we can with your mental health.
Thank you for your service to our country and best wishes