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Stephen Kerr appointed as Conservative education spokesman

Stephen Kerr is now education spokesman (Fraser Bremner)
Stephen Kerr is now education spokesman (Fraser Bremner)

Stephen Kerr has been appointed as the Scottish Conservatives’ new education spokesman, after Oliver Mundell left the frontbench team for personal reasons.

The Central Scotland list MSP said he would build on the “tireless work” of Mr Mundell.

Mr Kerr is being replaced as the party’s chief whip by current deputy chief whip Alexander Burnett.

Earlier this month, Mr Mundell said he was stepping down in search of a “better balance when it comes to making time for my young family”.

National Qualifications 2021
Oliver Mundell said he was looking for a ‘better balance’ over family time (Fraser Bremner)

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “I am delighted to appoint Stephen and Alexander to these new positions.

“I was naturally disappointed when Oliver stepped down from the shadow cabinet but I know Stephen has the experience and drive to hit the ground running as the party’s new shadow education secretary and build on Oliver’s fine work.

“As a former convener of the Parliament’s education committee, he has already shown he is more than capable of holding the SNP to account over their failures within Scotland’s education system.

“Alexander has already provided superb support to our whip’s office and I know he will be a strong chief whip as he makes the step up from deputy.”

Mr Kerr said: “I’m extremely pleased to be taking on this role and look forward to building on the tireless work Oliver carried out as Shadow Education Secretary.

“During their 15 years in charge the SNP have repeatedly let down pupils, parents and teachers, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s insistence that education was her top priority.

“I will ensure that they answer for the decline in Scotland’s global reputation in education and their failure to close the attainment gap.”

Mr Burnett said he was “thrilled” by the new role, adding: “Alongside my fellow Scottish Conservative MSPs, I will continue to ensure that we are holding the SNP-Green Government to account and showing voters across the country that we are Scotland’s real alternative.”