Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Scottish Secretary

It has gone almost completely un-noticed amid the wider coverage of Gordon Brown's first Cabinet, but Scotland now has a new Scottish Secretary, its 41st since the Scottish Office was created in 1885.

Des Browne now adds the Scotland Office to his existing job as Secretary of State for Defence. Surprisingly, a widely-expected rejig of Government departments did not result in a Ministry of the Nations and Regions, instead the post of Scottish Secretary was simply detached from the Department for Transport and joined instead with the Ministry of Defence.

Sources tell me that Browne isn't exactly delighted with his new duties, bringing as they undoubtedly will trouble in the form of SNP First Minister Alex Salmond. You can read the Scotland Office press release on his appointment by clicking here. Presumably, unless things change tomorrow, David Cairns will remain in situ as an under-secretary at the Scotland Office, in addition to similar duties in the Northern Ireland Office.

On today's (29 June) Good Morning Scotland, Browne defended his dual post. You can read more about that, and his communications with Alex Salmond, by clicking here.


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