Politics

Who is Jenny Gilruth MSP? Scotland’s Transport Minister

Meet the SNP minister with the duty of finding out ScotRail and Scotland’s ferries.

Jenny Gilruth is the Scottish Government shipping minister – a short lived which takes in rail, ferries and public shipping.

In brief, it’s a portfolio with a large number of force.

Just months into the activity, underneath Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, teach drivers are refusing to paintings additional time and ferries stay unfinished within the backyard.

Here’s how the Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP got here to the activity in Nicola Sturgeon’s executive.

From the Aberdeen to Fife

Jennifer Gilruth was once born in Aberdeen in 1984. She was once raised in Banff prior to her circle of relatives moved to Ceres in Fife when she was once younger.

She attended Aberchirder number one faculty in Aberdeenshire, Ceres number one faculty, then Madras College in St Andrews. She went on to check politics and sociology at Glasgow University.

While a pupil in Glasgow she turned into an energetic member of the SNP’s pupil wing and served at the nationwide govt of Young Scots for Independence.

Jenny Gilruth and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Jenny Gilruth out campaigning in 2016 with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

After her undergraduate level she studied for a PDGE to show fashionable research at Strathclyde University and labored on the Scottish Executive as a graduate researcher within the justice division.

She joined the SNP formally on the age of twenty-two in 2007 and labored for Tricia Marwick MSP in her constituency workplace and Kenny MacAskill MSP in Holyrood.

She additionally had a spell as a parliamentary liaison officer for Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Life as a college instructor

Before changing into a political candidate Ms Gilruth was once a instructor.

She taught fashionable research at Royal High School in Edinburgh, and latterly was once head of social topics at St Columba’s RC High School in Dunfermline.

However Ms Gilruth, who lives in Markinch, stood for election in 2016 for the SNP was once elected to the Mid Fife and Glenrothes seat.

In January 2020 she stepped as much as turn into a central authority minister, being given the activity of minister for Europe, migration and world construction.

It was once a part of a cupboard reshuffle following the resignation of finance secretary Derek Mackay.

Image of Jenny Gilruth MSP
Jenny Gilruth MSP

At the 2021 Holyrood election she was once re-elected to Mid Fife and Glenrothes with a majority of 10,234 – probably the most greatest majorities within the nation.

Following the resignation of Graeme Dey, she was once formally made minister for shipping within the ministerial reshuffle of January 2022.

Relationship with Kezia Dugdale

Before changing into a central authority minister, Ms Gilruth started a dating with fellow MSP Kezia Dugdale.

At the time, Ms Dugdale was once chief of Scottish Labour, and an in depth pal of the couple stated they “share much in common” however will all the time “differ over politics”.

Jenny Gilruth and Kezia Dugdale
Jenny Gilruth and Kezia Dugdale

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated the couple by way of announcing “love really does conquer all”.

Work as Scotland’s shipping minister

Despite good fortune in her personal constituency, she has confronted added force as shipping minister.

Most significantly, ScotRail teach disruption.

The teach operator presented a discounted timetable on the finish of May 2022 over a pay dispute with teach drivers union Aslef as drivers refused to paintings additional time on leisure days.

This ended in 700 services and products being axed.

Mick Hogg, Scottish regional organiser of the RMT union, accused Ms Gilruth of “telling lies” when she stated she sought after to look unions and ScotRail getting around the desk to barter.

She disputed the declare as disrespectful and misguided, and stated: “I spent a lot of time at the start of my appointment with our trade union partners to try and bring them into the conversation about the future of Scotland’s trains.”

Jenny Gilruth MSP at a public assembly in Markinch

And she has persistently confronted offended questions over the teach cuts, which result in her stating in parliament: “I don’t drive the trains.”

And it’s now not simply trains – as shipping minister she additionally has obligations for Scotland’s ferries.

The Scottish Government is underneath fireplace for vital delays and overspends to 2 new CalMac ferries.

This result in Ms Gilruth being accused of treating the Scottish Parliament with “contempt” after claiming to discover a “missing” e-mail that confirmed the contract for those two new ferries was once authorized by way of her predecessor Mr Mackay.

Opposition events extensively utilized this e-mail to position the blame on Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who was once finance secretary on the time and is alleged to have had ultimate log off in this resolution.

PROFILE: Jenny Gilruth — from Markinch to minister in one parliament

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