Scottish Transport Minister steps down

The Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey has tendered his resignation from the Scottish Government for health-related reasons. 

Mr Dey served as Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans from 2018, and was appointed Transport Minister following the 2021 Holyrood elections. 

Accepting his resignation, the First Minister said he had been a formidable minister, and would be welcome to return in future should circumstances allow. 

Writing to the First Minister, Mr Dey said: “It has been an absolute privilege to serve as a Minister in the Scottish Government, firstly as Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans and latterly, as Minister for Transport.

“I have always prided myself on being able to give 100% to any task I am charged with.  Regrettably, despite my continuing passion, I find myself unable now to give this hugely important ministerial role everything it rightly requires and deserves. It is therefore with regret that I am writing to resign from office as Minister for Transport in the Scottish Government.”

In reply, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is the right decision for Graeme to reach at this time, and he leaves government with my very best wishes.  He has been a highly effective minister and steps down with many achievements to his name. As Minister for Parliamentary Business, he built trust and confidence across the political spectrum to navigate a period of minority government, and ensure that government remained accountable to Parliament throughout the period of lockdown earlier in the pandemic. 

“As Transport Minister, Graeme played a huge part in ensuring the success of COP26. He has also delivered concessionary bus travel for under-22s, set out plans to reduce car travel to meet climate targets, and prepared the ground for the return of Scotland’s railway to public ownership. 

“Amongst his many responsibilities, I know that Graeme particularly valued his time as Minister for Veterans. In that role, he secured additional funding for veteran services and I have no doubt that the veteran community will continue to benefit from his support as a backbench MSP. 

“Circumstances permitting, the door will always be open should Graeme wish a return to government in future. In the meantime, I wish him well and know that he will continue to serve his Angus constituents with drive and commitment.”

 Jenny Gilruth will take on the Transport portfolio with immediate effect, overseeing a range of policy areas including the upcoming transfer of Scotland’s railways into public hands, reducing carbon emissions from our transport network and delivering new ferries for its island communities. As a member of the Net Zero portfolio,  she will play a key role in ensuring Scotland meets its climate targets.  

The First Minister said: “The appointment of Jenny Gilruth as Transport Minister and Neil Gray as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development is a vote of confidence in a new generation of ministerial talent.

“Jenny has proven herself to be an effective representative for Scotland and has championed Scotland’s cultural sector through difficult times.   

“Neil has shown real promise as Convener of the Social Justice and Social Security committee in his short time in Holyrood and I know he will bring the drive, passion and determination he has shown in parliament into government.

Ms Gilruth said: “The transport portfolio is an exciting opportunity to not just shape the infrastructure of our country but to also help Scotland become a world leader in achieving our goal to become net zero by 2045.

“It has been a privilege to work with our international and cultural community over the last few years and I am looking forward to this new challenge.

“A lot of great work is already underway and I look forward to leading a low carbon revolution across Scotland’s transport system.”

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