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Maree moves up to become minister

HIGHLANDS and Islands list MSP Maree Todd has been appointed as the Scottish Government’s new minister for childcare and early years.

The SNP politician said she was “honoured” to take on the role, which will be subject to approval by parliament.

Todd was promoted into the ministerial role after Mark McDonald resigned owing to past behaviour which may be considered “inappropriate”.

The former pharmacist was only elected as an MSP in May 2016.

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

“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.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added: “Improving the life chances of children and young people is at the heart of this government’s agenda, so this is a crucial post.

“We want to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up and are taking forward a range of actions to achieve this.”