Confor welcomes reappointment of Fergus Ewing

27 June 2018

Confor has welcomed the decision to reappoint Fergus Ewing MSP to his role as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy in the Scottish Government. 

Despite a wide-ranging reshuffle by Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Ewing remained in the role he has held since the Holyrood election of May 2016. His title has changed slightly, with the 'Connectivity' part of his brief moving into the portfolio of Michael Matheson, the new Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. 

Mr Ewing will be supported by a new Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon MSP for Angus North and Mearns.  

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: "The reappointment of Fergus Ewing is very welcome continuity at a time of great change in forestry and rural affairs. The Cabinet Secretary has been a strong advocate for forestry and wood processing and understands their enormous value to our economy, environment and communities. 

"As the new Bill completes the full devolution of forestry to Scotland and as a new Scottish Forestry Strategy is developed, it makes perfect sense to have the same Cabinet Secretary in place - especially against the backdrop of Brexit and the need to shape a new deal to support our countryside. 

"Confor has worked very positively and constructively with Fergus Ewing and his officials and will continue to do so, in the very best interests of Scotland's rural economy." 

Mr Goodall added: "We also welcome the ministerial appointment of Mairi Gougeon. She represents a rural constituency with a strong forestry presence and we look forward to working with her closely in her new role."