Tory reshuffle: Stephen Kerr, Sue Webber and Jamie Greene out of frontbench
Stephen Kerr, Sue Webber and Jamie Greene have all been dumped from the Tory shadow Cabinet following a reshuffle.
But Annie Wells returns to the frontbenches and Roz McCall joins the top team for the first time since becoming an MSP last year.
Leader Douglas Ross said the reshuffle “underlines the formidable talent and strength” of his MSPs.
Stephen Kerr, who this week became the party’s candidate for the new Westminster seat of Angus and Perthshire Glens, had been education spokesperson. He has been replaced by Liam Kerr, and Roz McCall is his deputy.
Taking on Kerr’s former role as shadow cabinet secretary for net zero is Douglas Lumsden, who has been promoted from shadow finance minister.
Greene has been replaced as shadow justice secretary by Russell Findlay, who had been his junior. Sharon Dowey will be Findlay’s deputy.
And Webber’s position as shadow minister for drugs policy and mental wellbeing no longer exists, with Tess White to broaden her brief as deputy health spokesperson under Sandesh Gulhane, who keeps his job.
Wells, who resigned from the frontbench in September 2021 for personal reasons, is the new deputy whip. She will work with Alexander Burnett, chief whip, who retains his position.
Ross said: “This is a key juncture in Scottish politics, and I’m convinced this new line-up will expose Humza Yousaf’s hopelessly divided and distracted SNP Government.
“The Scottish Conservatives will continue to focus relentlessly on the people’s real priorities – like the global cost-of-living crisis and NHS waiting times – while the nationalists double down on their independence obsession to deflect attention from their appalling record and internal scandals.”
Other changes include Murdo Fraser becoming the new shadow cabinet secretary for business, economy growth and tourism. He was previously Covid recovery spokesperson.
Brian Whittle will serve as Fraser’s deputy.
Liz Smith keeps her finance brief, though it will slightly expand to cover local government. Pam Gosal is her new deputy.
Jamie Halcro Johnstone will now deputise for shadow rural secretary Rachael Hamilton, who keeps her job.
Donald Cameron remains as shadow constitution secretary, with Alexander Stewart made his deputy.
Meghan Gallacher remains in place as deputy leader but is no longer shadow children’s minister, while Craig Hoy stays in place as party chairman but is no longer shadow social care minister.
Miles Briggs and Jeremy Balfour keep their positions as shadow social justice secretary and deputy, respectively.
Edward Mountain also stays on as spokesman on veterans' issues.
David Mundell MP has been appointed as chairman for the party's election campaign.