Maree Todd appointed as new childcare minister

Caitlin Logan

Highlands and Islands MSP joins cabinet following Mark McDonald’s resignation

MAREE TODD, who was elected as an SNP list MSP for the Highlands and Islands in 2016, has been appointed as Minister for Childcare and Early Years after her predecessor Mark McDonald resigned due to an investigation into past “inappropriate” behaviour.  

Todd, who up to this point sat on the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport committee, worked as a pharmacist for 20 years and first entered into politics after campaigning for Scottish independence in 2014.

Todd said of her appointment: “I am honoured to be asked to carry out this important role. The early years are so crucial in shaping Scotland’s next generation.

READ MORE: Holyrood harassment claims in the spotlight as government minister resigns

“A lot of great work has already been done and I am really looking forward to continuing to take forward policies like the baby box, the commitment to almost doubling entitlement to free early learning and childcare hours and leading celebrations for the Year of Young People 2018.

 “I am relishing getting started and helping make a difference to the lives of all children in Scotland.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she was “really pleased” that Todd agreed to take up the post, and stressed the importance of the role to the Scottish Government’s ambitions.

“Improving the life chances of children and young people is at the heart of this government’s agenda, so this is a crucial post,” Sturgeon said.

“The importance of early years development simply cannot be overstated, which is why my government is putting so much emphasis on doing all we can to ensure youngsters across Scotland can reach their full potential.

“I know that Maree is passionate about this work and I look forward to seeing her lead this agenda.”

This marks the second time in one week that Maree Todd has been something of a “trending topic”, as the new minister was widely celebrated last week for her response to being asked on air by the BBC’s Gordon Brewer whether or not she had ever experienced sexual harassment.

Todd told the presenter: “I think that’s a completely inappropriate question. We are trying to create an environment where it is possible for women to come forward and talk about these issues. That’s about as appropriate as me asking you whether you have ever harassed anyone.”

Todd’s appointment must be approved by the Scottish Parliament, which is expected to take place on Wednesday, prior to gaining approval from the Queen.

Picture courtesy of Scottish Government

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