Macintosh given housing role on new Scottish Labour front bench

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale

New Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has announced her front bench team with key housing and planning roles for Ken Macintosh.

The Lothians MSP, who was elected to lead the party on Saturday, unveiled ten new appointments during a visit in Edinburgh.

The roles will not shadow government portfolios but instead reflect on what the new leader describes as “led by Labour values”.

Ms Dugdale’s leadership rival Ken Macintosh has been named community spokesperson, covering housing, local government, cities, planning and island communities, while new public services and wealth creation spokesperson Jackie Baillie will have responsibility for finance, infrastructure, business, delivery of public services, and tourism.

The newly-elected leader will announce the junior members of her front bench team in the coming days, while conveners of the public audit committee, welfare reform committee, health committee, public petitions committee and equal opportunities committee will also be appointed.

Ms Dugdale said: “I am excited about the future. We all know the big task that faces Scottish Labour in the months and years ahead, but we’re up for it.

“My new team has a good mix of experience and vision to start the task of renewing Scottish Labour.

“The most important goal of any party must be to ensure that the life chances of our young people are determined by their potential, work rate and ambition, not by their background. These values will drive my team in every portfolio.

“Everybody in Scottish politics needs to get up to speed with the changed mood of the nation. The public will no longer accept politicians from any party complaining about what we can’t do.

“We all need to offer a positive vision of what we will do with the powers we do have.”

The full list of appointments are as follows:

  • Equality Spokesperson (Covering health, equalities, welfare, care, social inclusion) - Jenny Marra
  • Opportunity Spokesperson (covering schools, childcare, skills, lifelong learning, sport, science, workplace issues) - Iain Gray
  • Justice Spokesperson (covering justice and policing) - Graeme Pearson
  • Public Services and Wealth Creation Spokesperson (covering finance, infrastructure, business, delivery of public services, tourism) - Jackie Baillie
  • Community Spokesperson (covering housing, local government, cities, planning, island communities) - Ken Macintosh
  • Environmental Justice Spokesperson (covering transport, environment and rural affairs, land reform, climate change, energy (including oil and gas)) - Sarah Boyack
  • Democracy Spokesperson (covering constitution, Europe, culture, power in society) - Claire Baker
  • Reform Spokesperson (covering party and parliamentary reform) - Mary Fee
  • Business Manager - James Kelly
  • Chief Whip - Neil Bibby
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