Kevin Pringle, the veteran SNP spin-doctor who worked for both Alex Salmond and Humza Yousaf will not be returning to government, a spokesperson for John Swinney has confirmed. 

The former lobbyist for Charlotte Street Partners was blamed by many Greens for the former first minister's decision to scrap the Bute House Agreement. 

The ending of the power-sharing deal between the two parties ultimately led to Mr Yousaf leaving his post. 

Mr Pringle first worked for the SNP in 1989, becoming Mr Salmond's chief spin doctor between 2007 and 2012.

He then went on to helm the party’s communications until he quit in 2015, taking up a lucrative job in public relations

Mr Pringle told the Record he wanted to "take a little time to explore options for fulfilling challenges outside the world of government and politics."

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Mr Swinney's spokesperson also confirmed that Kate Higgins had rejoined the team. She has been a Special Adviser since 2015. 

Meanwhile, former SNP MP Callum McCaig - who was hired a Special Adviser by Nicola Sturgeon has also announced that he will be standing down. 

In a statement posted on his LinkedIn profile, he said that it was "time to move on to something new. "

"It has been a huge privilege to have served as a Special Adviser - working with a fantastic range of people across the ministerial team, civil servants and my colleagues in the SpAd team.

"I’ve had the opportunity to work across a range of policy portfolios including finance, energy, the economy, local government and planning and more recently providing strategic policy direction as Head of Policy.

"It has been a great job, but the change in First Minister seems like a logical time to try something new and to see a bit more of my family." 

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Well-wishers included Health Secretary Neil Gray who commented: "Thanks for all of your advice and support Callum McCaig - you will indeed be a big miss. Enjoy the break and all the best for the opportunities that will undoubtedly present themselves soon."

Ms Sturgeon's former chief of staff, Liz Lloyd added: "You will be much missed Callum McCaig especially when it comes to budget time. I promise there is life after being a spad, but first enjoy a very well deserved break with your boys."