SNP announces Westminster frontbench
Newly elected MPs are included in the new front bench, which Ian Blackford says will be a "strong opposition to Boris Johnson's extreme Tory government"
The SNP has announced its new Westminster spokespeople, with newly elected MPs added to the party’s front bench positions.
Ian Blackford will continue as the SNP Westminster leader, with Kirsty Blackman holding the deputy leader position with an additional “strategic role” leading on the constitution “in preparation for an independence referendum.”
Newly elected Alyn Smith is the shadow foreign secretary while Alison Thewliss moves to become shadow chancellor.
Other appointments include Dr Philippa Whitford as shadow secretary of state for exiting the EU, Stuart McDonald as shadow attorney general and Anne McLaughlin as shadow minister for women and equalities.
Mhairi Black will join the party’s front bench for the first time, as shadow secretary of state for Scotland.
Additionally, John Nicolson becomes shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport and Kirsten Oswald becomes shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland and Wales.
The SNP returned 48 MPs to the House of Commons after the December 2019 election.
Blackford said: "The new SNP team at Westminster will be a strong and united opposition - standing up for Scotland in the face of the growing threats of Brexit and an extreme Tory government.
"I'm delighted to welcome fresh faces and expertise to the SNP's front bench team. Our newly-elected MPs will bring a wealth of talent and experience from their careers in our NHS, schools, business, journalism, and international affairs to defend Scotland's interests and hold Boris Johnson's hard-right government to account.
"The SNP won a landslide victory at the general election on a mandate to hold an independence referendum, while the Tories and their Brexit plans were overwhelmingly rejected by people in Scotland.
“With the Tory government intent on dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will and whatever the cost, the democratic right of the people of Scotland to choose our own future must be respected.
“SNP MPs will work hard to stand up for Scotland’s interests and ensure people in Scotland have a say over our future, instead of having it dictated to us by Westminster.”