Kezia Dugdale unveils new Scottish Labour frontbench

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SCOTTISH Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has unveiled her new shadow cabinet - but there are no frontbench seats for any of the party’s MSPs who are backing Jeremy Corbyn in the race to be UK party leader.

Ms Dugdale had promised a “shake-up” of the shadow cabinet and a gender-balanced team.

Kezia Dugdale and Alex Rowley out campaigning in the Meadows.Picture: Toby Williams

Kezia Dugdale and Alex Rowley out campaigning in the Meadows.Picture: Toby Williams

Jackie Baillie has been handed the Public Services and Wealth Creation role, and will also cover finance, tourism, infrastructure and business.

Graeme Pearson, previously the enterprise spokesperson, takes over the justice role from Hugh Henry, who is stepping down.

North East Scotland MSP Jenny Marra will be responsible for equality, health, welfare and social inclusion while ex-leader Iain Gray takes the opportunity role covering schools, skills and issues in the workplace.

Ms Dugdale’s leadership rival Ken Macintosh takes the brief covering local government, housing and planning.

Sarah Boyack takes responsibility for environmental justice while Claire Baker has been appointed democracy spokesperson.

Mary Fee will deal with parliamentary and party issues as reform spokesperson while James Kelly has been named Business Manager.

Neil Bibby takes the role of chief whip.

But there are no roles for Neil Findlay, Cara Hilton, Elaine Smith or Elaine Murray - the four MSPs backing Jeremy Corbyn in the UK party leadership race.

Prior to choosing her cabinet, Ms Dugdale said: “I want a Scotland where power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. I want a country where a young person’s ability to get on in life is determined by their potential, work rate and ambition, not by their background.

“The idea of simply shadowing government ministers is outdated. Of course we must hold the SNP government to account for its failings on schools, our NHS and policing – and we will do that.

“But I want to shake things up and have a fresh start.

“We need to be out and about across Scotland. The key focus of every single member of my frontbench team will be setting out a positive Labour vision of transforming Scotland.”

Ms Dugdale secured 72 per cent of the votes in the contest with Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh for the leadership.

Elected along with her at the weekend was new Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley, MSP for Cowdenbeath and a close ally of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Rowley saw off competition from Glasgow council leader Gordon Matheson and North East Scotland MSP Richard Baker

Findlay and Harris in Twitter row over Corbyn

Neil Findlay appeared to become embroiled in a Twitter spat with former Labour MP Tom Harris after the Lothian MSP endorsed the Daily Record newspaper, which today came out in support of Mr Corbyn, with former Glasgow South MP Mr Harris accusing Mr Findlay of ‘personal abuse’.

After Mr Harris had said: “I could just barf...” in response to Mr Findlay’s reference to the Daily Record, Mr Findlay responded: “Oh Thomas now, now don’t throw your toys out the pram because your sense of entitlement is slipping away...there, there...”

Mr Harris responded by saying: “Ah, I see - my ‘sense of entitlement’? Good to know that Trots’ penchant for personal abuse is alive and well.”

Mr Findlay hit back: “Oh you sensitive soul ........ Abuse? Trot? Come on Tom surely you come up with something, anything, anything better than that!”

Former Glasgow South MP Mr Harris then asked Mr Findlay: “Self-entitled? Do you think that everyone who opposes Corbyn does so from suspect or selfish motives?”

Mr Findlay is yet to respond.