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Jackson announces new shadow cabinet

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw has unveiled the party’s new shadow cabinet to take on the SNP and offer Scotland a genuine alternative.

As well as key appointments in the traditional roles, new positions have been created within the senior body.

MSP Murdo Fraser will take on the role of shadow constitution secretary, following Jackson’s commitment to make a fresh, new, positive case for the union across all areas and to all generations of Scots.

His predecessor Adam Tomkins will move to the newly-created shadow cabinet secretary for strategy.

Jackson also pledged to put housing at the centre of government, and has promoted Graham Simpson into the shadow cabinet with the remit of tackling homelessness and giving every young person the hope of owning a home.

The new team representing the party at Holyrood with immediate effect is as follows:

Leader – Jackson Carlaw MSP

Deputy Leaders -

  • Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice - Liam Kerr MSP
  • Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, Land Reform and COP26 - Annie Wells MSP

Chief Whip – Liz Smith MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Donald Cameron MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution and External Affairs – Murdo Fraser MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Strategy – Adam Tomkins MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health – Miles Briggs MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education – Jamie Greene MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Maurice Golden MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Business, Infrastructure and Transport – Dean Lockhart MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism – Rachael Hamilton MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Communities and Social Security – Graham Simpson MSP

Jackson will also announce further appointments in shadow junior minister roles and in other areas of responsibility in coming days.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“This is a brand new shadow cabinet designed to take on the SNP leading up to May 2021, and take the Scottish Conservatives into government after it.

“We’ve got the best people fighting in the best places, and they’re going to bring us onto the next level.

“I said during the leadership campaign that I wanted to press the positive case for the union across all areas of political debate, and that’s exactly what Murdo Fraser – one of Holyrood’s most senior and respected MSPs – will be doing.

“I also promised to prioritise areas like housing – such a critical area for young people across the country – which is why I’ve included that role within the shadow cabinet.

“It’s simply not enough for us to be a strong and effective opposition anymore.

“We need to prove to the people of Scotland that we’re a government in waiting, and that’s exactly what I intend to do over the next 15 months.

“The SNP has failed to put Scotland’s best interests first, and has overseen a deterioration in almost every area in which it has responsibility.

“That includes an education system in crisis, a health service which is on its knees, and an economy which lags badly behind the rest of the UK.

“That’s all on the SNP. The nationalists’ time in government is coming to an end and we’re ready to step up and step in.”

New finance secretary: Too easy for SNP to blame Brexit and London

Scotland’s new finance secretary has been urged to practice what she once preached – after it emerged she said the SNP government was too quick to “blame Brexit or blame Westminster”.

Kate Forbes’ promotion to one of government’s most senior roles was confirmed today as part of a minor reshuffle by the First Minister.

Now shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser has said it’s a chance for the nationalists to break with habit and start taking responsibility for their own actions.

Senior SNP ministers, including Nicola Sturgeon and Ms Forbes’ predecessor – the disgraced Derek Mackay – routinely pointed the finger at the UK Government or the vote to leave the European Union when defending failures in devolved areas.

That sparked the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP to say in 2018: “It’s far easier for me – and I do it all the time – to stand up and blame Brexit or to blame Westminster or to blame somebody else.”

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said:

“It’s refreshing to know that Kate Forbes dislikes her colleagues’ obsession with blaming Brexit and Westminster when it comes to major SNP failings.

“Having made these remarks, I hope she now stands by them and embodies a major SNP government figure who’s actually willing to take responsibility for devolved issues.

“People are getting sick of the nationalists pointing the finger at everyone else, when clearly they are the ones who’ve made a gigantic mess of domestic issues like health, education and the economy.

“And while the appointment of Kate Forbes to such a senior role is well-deserved, it cannot hide the brutal shortcomings of this clapped-out government.

“The SNP has been in charge in Scotland for 13 years, over which time education has descended into crisis, the NHS has deteriorated, and our economy badly lags the rest of the UK.

“No shuffling of personnel can disguise the fact that the SNP’s time in government is up.”



Notes to editors:


Kate Forbes made the remarks at an event in June 2018:

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