John Swinney has kept all of Humza Yousaf's Cabinet Secretaries in post, with only minor changes being made to the Scottish Government's senior ranks. 

Despite speculation that the new First Minister could reduce the size of his cabinet, it has actually grown by one, with Kate Forbes joining as Deputy First Minister. 

She will also take on the Economy portfolio and responsibility for Gaelic.

Mr Swinney had promised her a "significant" role in government last week when she was mulling a tilt at the SNP leadership.

Ms Forbes ultimately endorsed the Perthshire North MSP clearing his path to Bute House.

READ MORE: Tories and Labour now have harder jobs in opposition​

She will be the youngest person to be appointed Deputy First Minister, a role previously held by Mr Swinney under Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Sturgeon had also previously served as Alex Salmond's deputy before taking on the top job in 2014.

Shona Robison, who, according to Mr Swinney, "offered" to stand down as deputy first minister, will remain in Cabinet with responsibility for Finance and Local Government.

The only other real change is that Màiri McAllan has lost her Wellbeing economy portfolio, which has been handed over to Ms Forbes. She will keep responsibility for Net Zero and Energy.

The Herald:

Mr Swinney said his new number two was "an immensely talented politician".

He said her new role "will prove critical as we focus on our key commitments of eradicating child poverty, investing in public services and supporting economic growth.”

Ms Forbes said she was "deeply honoured" to become Deputy First Minister.

“This is a moment of extraordinary privilege for me. Having previously served in Cabinet, I know the duty that all Ministers have to reflect the government’s priorities and the missions that drive them.

“I look forward to working with John and Cabinet colleagues, delivering for the people of Scotland and building a better country.” 

All of the other Cabinet Secretaries remain as they were. 

The Herald:

That Neil Gray, who was only made Health Secretary in February, stays in post will please the BMA who earlier on Tuesday called for stability. 

Angus Robertson, one of the most experienced members of the government, keeps his Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary role. 

Jenny Gilruth remains Education Secretary while Angela Constance will keep her position as Justice Secretary. She is currently steering some controversial reforms through Parliament. 

Fiona Hyslop, who returned to government earlier this year, will continue as Transport Secretary.

Shirley-Anne Sommerville remains as Social Justice Secretary, while Mairi Gougeon continues as Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Secretary.

In  a statement, Mr Swinney praised his cabinet, saying it "blends experience and energy".

He said there would be a strong focus on his priorities of "eradicating child poverty, driving economic growth, meeting climate obligations and investing in our vital public services".

The First Minister said his ministers would also "focus efforts on reaching out to those who remain unconvinced" about Scottish independence.

He said they would do this "with respect and courtesy, to ensure that the people of Scotland have the democratic right to choose their own future".

The Herald:

Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy said: “This is simply Humza Yousaf’s cabinet with a different figurehead.

“The return of Kate Forbes is a desperate attempt by both John Swinney and his new deputy to gloss over the huge splits in the SNP and fixate on independence.

“A year ago, Mr Swinney questioned whether Kate Forbes was an ‘appropriate individual’ to lead the SNP, but now he deems her fit to be his second in command."

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie described it as an "uninspiring reshuffle".

She added: “After 17 years of failure, every single institution in Scotland is now weaker and those responsible remain at the heart of government.

"This is a continuity cabinet, that cannot be trusted to fix the chaos and instability they have created. 

“With two of the former Finance Secretaries responsible for trashing public finances now in the top jobs, more SNP chaos lies ahead."

READ MORE: Why is John Swinney striving to a Holyrood peacemaker?

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “We need ministers that won’t make empty promises but will get the basics right. Relying on all the same ingredients is a recipe for disappointment."

The Greens hit out at the appointment of Ms Forbes. Taking to X, Co-leader Patrick Harvie tweeted a picture reading "no right turns".

He said there would be "many" people across Scotland "who will be very concerned and who will want to know that this Scottish Government remains committed to a greener and more equal future for Scotland".

The ex-minister added: “When it comes to delivering fairer and more progressive taxation, a just transition from oil and gas and a watertight ban on so-called conversion therapy, it is vital that this government does not dilute the longstanding commitments that it has made."

Parliament will be asked to approve Ms Forbes's appointment on Thursday.

The Scottish Government said details of junior minister positions would released in due course. 

Earlier in the day, Mr Swinney was sworn in as Scotland's seventh First Minister at the court of session. 

The SNP leader was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth Quigley, their son Matthew and his brother David.

He made his statutory declarations to Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord President Lord Carloway, and was granted his official title of First Minister and Keeper of the Scottish Seal.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Mr Swinney said taking the oaths had been an “overwhelming moment.”

“I look forward to dedicating my future to serving the people of Scotland," he said.

The Herald:

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has shared details of a conversation between Mr Swinney and Rishi Sunak. 

The two men spoke on Wednesday afternoon, with the First Minister saying he "stands ready to work constructively with the UK Government in a good-faith effort to deliver for the people of Scotland and reduce polarisation in politics".

A spokesperson said Mr Swinney "set out his determination to eradicate child poverty and urged the UK Government to work with him towards that goal by changing course on policies such as the two-child benefit cap which are causing misery for many families in Scotland."

He also said the First Minister made clear that the Scottish Government "will continue to respectfully persuade people in Scotland of the case for independence, and that the decision on Scotland’s future should be for the people of Scotland to make."