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Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity

Current role holder: Fergus Ewing MSP


Fergus Ewing was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity in May 2016.


The Cabinet Secretary is responsible for:

  • agriculture and crofting
  • connectivity, including 100% broadband coverage
  • cross government co-ordination on islands
  • fisheries and aquaculture
  • food and drink
  • forestry
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • rural Scotland
  • transport and public transport

Supporting Ministers


Mr Ewing was born in Glasgow in September 1957 and was educated at Edinburgh's Loretto School and then attended Glasgow University.

He was elected as MSP for Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2016. Prior to being elected, he ran his own law practice and developed SNP policy on small business and other matters as well as serving on the party's national executive.

He has served on a number of Scottish Parliament committees including the Subordinate Legislation Committee, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Finance, Local Government and Transport committee and was previously Shadow Minister for Transport, Tourism & Telecommunications. He was Community Safety Minister during the 2007 to 2011 administration.

He was appointed the Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism in 2011 and in November 2014 the portfolio became Business Energy & Tourism.

He is the son of Winnie, formerly the MSP for Highlands and Islands and MEP for Scotland, and brother of Annabelle, formerly MP for Perth.