Scottish Labour shadow cabinet: Kezia Dugdale unveils new frontbench team

Written by Andrew Whitaker on 25 May 2016 in News

Kezia Dugdale announces new frontbench team at Holyrood, with a 50-50 gender balance  

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has announced her new frontbench team with a 50 per cent female membership and four new appointments.

Former Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar will serve as the party’s health spokesman at Holyrood, after being elected to the parliament as a Glasgow list MSP on 5 May.

Senior MSP Jackie Baillie will take the economy, fair work and jobs portfolio, while Claire Baker is to speak on justice for Labour, which has been replaced by the Scottish Tories as the official opposition at Holyrood.   


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Rhoda Grant will serve as Scottish Labour's spokeswoman for the rural economy and connectivity.

However, Labour MSP Jenny Marra, who was a high profile member of the shadow cabinet in the last parliament, will not be part of the frontbench. 

Marra will instead be the party’s first nominee for a committee convenership, when the positions are filled.

Former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray has been named as the party’s spokesman for education, a ministerial brief held by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.  

Meanwhile, the party’s current deputy leader Alex Rowley will speak on community, social security and equalities.

Lewis Macdonald, a former minister, will be the spokesman for culture, sport, tourism and external affairs.

The four new appointments to Scottish Labour's frontbench are Sarwar, Macdonald, Beamish and Grant. 

Dugdale, who will take on the finance brief, said her frontbench team would base its opposition to the Scottish Government on an anti-austerity platform.

She said: "The big issue in Scottish politics over the next few years is how the Scottish Government uses the powers of the Parliament to stop the cuts and invest in the future.

“By taking on the finance role myself I am showing just how important our anti-austerity message is to the Labour Party. 

“To build the kind of economy we need to create a better future for our young people we need to invest in education. That's what I will focus on in the next few years."  

Labour front bench team

Leader and Finance Spokesperson - Kezia Dugdale

Deputy Leader and Community, Social Security and Equalities spokesperson Alex Rowley

Shadow Community Ministers - Mark Griffin and Pauline McNeill

Education, Skills and Science spokesperson - Iain Gray

Shadow Education Minister - Daniel Johnson

Health spokesperson - Anas Sarwar

Shadow Health Minister - Colin Smyth

Shadow Minister for Inequality (working across the Health and Education teams) - Monica Lennon

Culture, Sport, Tourism and External spokesperson - Lewis Macdonald

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform spokesperson - Claudia Beamish

Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform - David Stewart

Rural Economy and Connectivity spokesperson - Rhoda Grant

Shadow Minister for Transport and Town Centres - Neil Bibby

Economy, Fair Work and Jobs spokesperson - Jackie Baillie

Shadow Economy Minister - Richard Leonard

Justice spokesperson - Claire Baker

Shadow Minister for Justice - Mary Fee

Parliamentary Business Manager and Minister Without Portfolio - James Kelly

Whips - Mark Griffin and Colin Smyth

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