New Scottish health secretary announced

Neil Gray has been appointed as Scotland’s new health secretary following the resignation of Michael Matheson.

It was announced last week that Mr Gray, who is the MSP for Airdrie and Shotts, would be the new cabinet secretary for NHS recovery, health and social care in Scotland.

“I’ll give my all for our NHS and social care”

Neil Gray

It comes after Mr Matheson resigned from the cabinet following a scandal involving an £11,000 iPad roaming data bill.

Mr Matheson had claimed he racked up the bill – incurred on a family holiday in Morocco – undertaking constituency work, but it was later revealed that it was in fact his sons using his iPad.

He has since paid back the bill and apologised.

Following Mr Matheson’s resignation, the first minister for Scotland, Humza Yousaf, had a small cabinet reshuffle, in which Mr Gray was appointed as the new health secretary.

Mr Yousaf said: “As economy secretary, Neil Gray has been widely praised for resetting the relationship with business.

“Now at the helm of the NHS – our most precious institution – and social care, Neil will be charged with continuing its recovery from Covid, driving down waiting times and reforming the service to improve outcomes for patients.”

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Mr Gray was appointed to represent his constituency in the 2021 Scottish parliament election.

Prior to becoming an MP he had worked for the former Scottish Government health secretary, Alex Neil, as his Airdie and Shotts constituency office manager.

In January 2022, Mr Gray was appointed as minister for culture, Europe and international development.

Then, in March 2022, he additionally became minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine.

Mr Gray was serving as the cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, fair work and energy prior to his most recent appointment.

Speaking about his appointment on X, Mr Gray said: “To serve the people is the greatest honour, what greater challenge than to do your best for a service so cherished and touches everyone’s lives from beginning to end?

“I’ll give my all for our NHS and social care in [a] great health team and with thousands of dedicated staff across Scotland.”

In his new role, Mr Gray will be responsible for chairing the Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce.

The group, established last year, is set to come up with policy recommendations that will tackle key issues around nursing recruitment and retention in the country.

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