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Richard Leonard unveils his Scottish Labour shadow cabinet

Richard Leonard (Allan Miligan)
Richard Leonard (Allan Miligan)

SCOTTISH Labour leader Richard Leonard has unveiled his new-look front bench team.

The 14-strong team includes Neil Findlay in the new position of Brexit, campaigns and party engagement while Elaine Smith takes the new post for the eradication of poverty and inequality.

A stand-alone post for communities, social security and equalities has been created and Monica Lennon has been appointed.

Leonard, elected as leader last month, has retained the man he beat in the contest, Anas Sarwar, as Shadow Secretary for Health with added responsibility for sport, while Iain Gray and Jackie Baillie also remain in their previous positions.

Claire Baker moves from justice to culture, tourism and external affairs, replacing Lewis Macdonald who has been dropped. Daniel Johnson replaces Ms Baker on justice.

Rhoda Grant switches from rural economy and connectivity to become parliamentary business manager and women and equality spokeswoman, with Colin Smyth taking her previous post.

Claudia Beamish retains the environment and climate change brief.

Previously announced positions include Lesley Laird MP as interim deputy leader and James Kelly as finance spokesman.

The equal gender balance instigated by Kezia Dugdale last year has been maintained.

Mr Leonard said he had taken three weeks to appoint his team as he spoke to each Labour MSP individually.

There is no place for former leader Ms Dugdale or former deputy Alec Rowley.

Mr Leonard said he had spoken to both and it was decided “they did not want a front line role” in the party at this time.

Leonard added: “I’m delighted with the people who have agreed to serve in this shadow cabinet. I think it’s a strong team which brings together a blend of experience, skills and new energy.

“I think it will be a great team to advocate a strong Scottish Labour message.”

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party — Richard Leonard

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Interim Deputy Leader — Lesley Laird

Parliamentary Business Manager and Women and Equality spokesperson — Rhoda Grant

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution — James Kelly

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work — Jackie Baillie

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Brexit, Campaigns and Party Engagement — Neil Findlay

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Skills and Science — lain Gray

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport – Anas Sarwar

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform — Claudia Beamish

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Eradication of Poverty and Inequality — Elaine Smith

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities — Monica Lennon

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice — Daniel Johnson

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs — Claire Baker

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity — Colin Smyth