Ian Murray overlooked for shadow Scottish secretary role
Jeremy Corbyn has named a newly-elected MP as Shadow Scottish Secretary, overlooking Ian Murray after previously saying he would 'extend the hand of friendship' to members of the Parliamentary Labour Party who had criticised his leadership.
Lesley Laird was named to Mr Corbyn’s front bench team less than a week after winning the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency last week. She was previously deputy leader of Fife Council. Mr Murray, who was Labour’s only Scottish MP until last Thursday, resigned as Scottish Secretary last year in protest at Mr Corbyn’s leadership, later accusing him of “killing the Labour Party” over his neutral stance on a second Scottish independence referendum.
The Edinburgh South MP was replaced by an MP from the northeast of England, David Anderson, who also served as Northern Ireland secretary before standing down at the election.
The Northern Ireland position was filled by Mr Corbyn’s former leadership rival, Owen Smith. Ian Lavery has been named Labour Party chair, with Mr Corbyn saying the role would ensure Labour was on a “permanent campaign footing” with the Conservatives in minority government.
The Labour leader said Ms Laird “brings a wealth of knowledge and practical real life experience to the Commons”, while Kezia Dugdale paid tribute to bother her predecessors, saying Mr Anderson and Mr Murray “helped to rebuild our party”.