Johann Lamont, the new Scottish Labour Party Leader wasted no time in appointing her shadow cabinet.
Meeting for the first time in this week leading to Christmas, the Shadow Cabinet sorted out their portfolios.
A mix of experienced former ministers and newer voices ‘to speak on the important issue for Scotland,’ the Leader said: ‘Our job will not just be to hold the Scottish Government to account, but to show our party’s ambition again. Together we must set out and convince the people of Scotland of Labour’s vision for our country. Ours is a positive vision for a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way, a wealth-creating Scotland that uses its wealth to build a fairer country, a Scotland determined that not one person’s talent is wasted, a Scotland that challenges all Scots to be all that they can be, and which creates the conditions in which we can reach our aspirations.’
Flanked by her deputy, Anas Sarwar and Margaret Curran, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, the Pollok MSP’s team is:
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth – Ken Macintosh
Shadow Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism – Rhoda Grant
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy – Jackie Baillie
Shadow Minister for Public Health – Richard Simpson
Shadow Minister for Social Justice – Drew Smith
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning – Hugh Henry
Shadow Minister for Children and Young People – Neil Bibby
Shadow Minister for Learning and Skills – Neil Findlay
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, External Affairs and the Commonwealth Games – Patricia Ferguson
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment – Richard Baker
Shadow Minister for Housing and Transport – Elaine Murray
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Lewis Macdonald
Shadow Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs – Jenny Marra
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Planning – Sarah Boyack
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment – Claire Baker
Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change – Claudia Beamish
Shadow Minister for Youth Employment (attending shadow cabinet and working with education and finance teams) – Kezia Dugdale
Scottish Labour Parliamentary Business Manager – Paul Martin
Chief Whip – James Kelly
Shadow Whip – John Pentland
In addition, Johann Lamont has asked Tom Harris MP to review how Scottish Labour uses technology to campaign. He will report to the deputy leader Anas Sarwar. Mr Harris will also work with Shadow Cabinet Secretary Richard Baker to advise on capital investment and infrastructure.
In making her final announcements to complete her team Johann Lamont said: ‘Scottish Labour has an excellent set of newly-elected MSPs and I am very pleased to have appointed eight of them to front bench roles. Together, over the coming months, we will be working hard to change Scottish Labour.’
In the new year she intends to make further shadow cabinet appointments from beyond the world of politics.
MSP Johann Lamont is the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, She takes over from Iain Gray and has a wider remit.
She was elected from three tiers of Labour Party voters by a substantial majority of 51.77% over MSP Ken Macintosh who polled 40.28% and Westminster MP Tom Harris who polled 7.95%.
Her deputy is Anas Sarwar Westminster MP. He won his post by 51.10% against MP Ian Davidson who polled 33.28% and MSP Lewis Macdonald who polled 15.62%.
The results of the leadership campaigns were announced on Saturday 17 December in Edinburgh.
Both the new leader and her deputy are Glasgow based. Representing Pollok, former teacher Johann was brought up in Anderston of Gaelic speaking parents from Tiree. Former dentist Anas, whose seat is Glasgow Central, is a Southsider whose father was the first Muslim MP at Westminster.
Said Johann: ‘While I am delighted and honoured to be elected leader of Scottish Labour Party, I believe the real work starts now. In May, we fell short of people’s expectations and they turned away from us, unable to find a reason to give us their support. If we are to earn the right to serve the country, our challenge is to listen, to learn lessons and to demonstrate that we can change. I am confident that once again people will recognise that Scottish Labour is the party which understands their lives, can deliver their hopes and will stand up for Scotland.’
Added Anas: ‘It is a tremendous honour and privilege to have been elected as the new deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party. I want to thank members from across the movement for their fantastic support. Scottish Labour will always put the interests of the people of Scotland first and work to build a more inclusive, equal and prosperous country: an ambitious Scotland, within a successful United Kingdom, not just talking about change, but leading it. I will work resolutely behind our new leader to make sure that the changes that are needed happen. This process of renewal is for one key purpose: to give the people of Scotland a Labour Party that they can trust, a Labour Party they can believe in, and a Labour Party that can win.’
Senior Labour Party figures congratulated the new leader.
Ed Miliband MP, leader of the Labour Party, said: Many congratulations to Johann, the new and the first Scottish Labour leader. It was right to create this powerful new position which carries with it the weight and authority of the whole party in Scotland. Scottish Labour needed to make this radical change to reflect the reality of the devolution that Labour delivered. Johann’s mission is to win back the trust of Scots and challenge the SNP – a party that is cutting capital spending and public sector jobs faster even than George Osborne. As the leader of the whole Scottish party, she will command the support of all the Scottish Labour Parliamentarians, and I look forward to working with her and Anas as colleagues and friends.’
Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, said: ‘I warmly congratulate Johann and Anas, who both ran excellent campaigns. This election has been fought in a comradely and good-natured fashion, not least because all the candidates know we have to change and change radically, but it has also invigorated our local parties and many of our supporters. I and the 41 Scottish Labour MPs who hold the UK government to account day in, day out, look forward to working with our new leader to make sure that Scottish Labour is back on the park doing what the people of our country expect: speaking out and doing what is right for Scotland.’
For more information on the leadership election and process see: http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/leadership