IAN Murray, Scotland’s only Labour MP, has been named as the party’s shadow Scottish Secretary.
Mr Murray, who successfully defended his Edinburgh South seat to be returned as the only Labour MP north of the Border, replaces Margaret Curran, who lost her seat to Natalie McGarry in the Glasgow East constituency.
Formerly a councillor for the Liberton/Gilmerton ward in Edinburgh, Mr Murray chaired the Foundation of Hearts fans’ group and was appointed shadow Trade and Investment Minister in 2011.
The former shadow Business Minister broke ranks earlier this year to voice his opposition to Trident, stating that he would not vote for the renewal of the submarine missile fleet under any circumstances.
Mr Murray told The Scotsman in April: “I made it clear to my constituents in 2010 that I would not vote for the renewal of Trident and I’ve been saying that regularly.
“If we determined the future of nuclear weapons on the basis of how the Nationalists vote, then politics has gone bonkers.”
Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman announced the line-up of her new shadow cabinet this morning, plugging the gaps left by last week’s disastrous General Election showing.
Former shadow Treasury secretary Chris Leslie replaced Ed Balls as shadow chancellor. Mr Balls lost his Morley & Outwood seat by 422 votes last week to Conservative candidate Andrea Jenkyns.
Elsewhere, Hilary Benn was named new shadow Foreign Secretary, replacing Douglas Alexander while Emma Reynolds takes over Mr Benn’s role as shadow Communities Secretary.
Lord Falconer was named new shadow Justice Secretary, returning to the front bench for the first time since his role as Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary between 2003 and 2007 under Tony Blair. He replaces Sadiq Khan, who wrote to Ms Harman saying that ‘after a period of reflection I have decided that I should step down from serving in the shadow cabinet’.
Ms Harman’s shadow cabinet is a near 50 / 50 gender split, with 14 women and 15 men named.
The other roles are unchanged, with Rachel Reeves remaining shadow Work and Pensions Secretary; Vernon Coaker and Caroline Flint remaining at defence and energy and climate change respectively; Yvette Cooper maintaining the home affairs brief; Chuka Umunna business; Andy Burnham health and Tristram Hunt education.
Mr Burnham, Mr Umunna, Mr Hunt and Ms Cooper are all expected to contest the forthcoming Labour leadership battle.
Ms Harman is replaced in her role as shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary by Chris Bryant, who was fiercely critical of the press over phone-hacking.
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, joins the shadow cabinet as shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury while Liz Kendall - the first MP to throw her hat into the ring as a candidate to succeed Ed Miliband - will attend the shadow cabinet in her previous role as shadow Minister for Care and Older People.