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by Jenni Davidson
06 April 2020
Ian Murray appointed shadow Scottish secretary in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet

Ian Murray - Image credit: Holyrood

Ian Murray appointed shadow Scottish secretary in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet

Ian Murray has been appointed as the new shadow secretary of state for Scotland in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

The MP for Edinburgh South – and Labour’s sole MP in Scotland – previously held the shadow Scottish secretary role for a year from May 2015 to June 2016.

He resigned on 26 June 2016 following the Brexit referendum, citing concerns about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Starmer took over from Corbyn as the UK Labour leader on Saturday and has carried out a complete shake up of the shadow frontbench.

In a surprise comeback, Murray is joined in his return to the shadow cabinet by former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Starmer has appointed Miliband shadow business secretary, replacing leadership runner-up Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is moving to be shadow education secretary.

Anneliese Dodds is the new shadow chancellor, while Angela Rayner, who beat Murray to become deputy party leader, has been appointed party chair.

Third-placed in the leadership race Lisa Nandy will be the shadow foreign secretary, while Nick Thomas-Symonds becomes shadow home secretary.

Other notable appointments include Jonathan Ashworth as shadow health secretary, David Lammy as shadow justice secretary, John Healey as shadow defence secretary, Jonathan Reynolds as shadow work and pensions secretary, Emily Thornberry as shadow secretary for international trade and Bridget Philipson as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

Among those out of the shadow cabinet are John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, who resigned, as well as Richard Burgon, Barry Gardiner and Ian Lavery.

Murray said: “It is an honour to join Keir’s shadow cabinet and the fantastic new team he is building.

“Our immediate priority is to provide an effective and constructive opposition at a time of national emergency.

“But there is also a huge rebuilding task after we lost the trust of voters, and Keir understands that Labour’s road back to power runs directly through Scotland.

“I look forward to standing up for the people of Scotland in the Commons and holding the Tories to account, working in partnership with Richard Leonard and Jackie Baillie as they hold the SNP to account in Holyrood.”

Starmer said: “It is an honour to be elected leader of the Labour Party, and that privilege comes with enormous responsibility to the people of every nation and region in the UK.

“The road back to connecting with the Scottish public will not be quick or easy, but it will be my priority.

“I am delighted that Ian is joining my frontbench team. His experience of winning in Scotland and his understanding of the constitution will be vital for our party’s future, with Holyrood elections just over one year away.

“I look forward to uniting our party and working with Ian, Richard and Jackie so that Labour stands up for the interests of the Scottish people, their public services, their wellbeing and their prosperity.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard added: “I would like to congratulate Ian on his appointment as shadow Scottish secretary.

“At this time of crisis, it is vital that Scottish Labour works closely with our colleagues in Westminster and Ian will play a key role in ensuring this happens.”

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