New Scots Tory leader Jackson axes leadership rival from frontbench team

New Scots Tory leader Jackson Carlaw has axed his leadership rival Michelle Ballantyne from the shadow cabinet in a reshuffle of his frontbench team.

Jackson Carlaw has reshuffled his frontbench team

Mr Carlaw, who was formally elected leader last Friday, said his new team will take on the SNP and offer Scotland a "genuine alternative" as he unveiled the changes today.

Mrs Ballantyne finds herself without an opposition brief, but will instead become convenor of Holyrood's Economy, Fair Work and Culture committee.

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The leadership election turned nasty with Mr Carlaw known to have been angered over Ms Ballantyne's criticism of the general election campaign in Scotland which which the Eastwood MSP spearheaded, as interim leader.

Mid Scotland Fife MSP Murdo Fraser takes over as party Constitution spokesman moving from his previous Finance brief, with Adam Tomkins making way as he takes over a new strategy role.

Liz Smith also becomes chief whip, with Donald Cameron takes over the Education brief.

Graham Simpson moves into the shadow cabinet with the remit of tackling homelessness which also includes Ms Ballantyne's former social security brief.

Mr Carlaw said: “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.

Further appointments in shadow junior minister roles and in other areas of responsibility will be made in coming days.

The new Scottish Conservative shadow cabinet team at Holyrood is as follows:

Leader – Jackson Carlaw MSP

Deputy Leaders - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Liam Kerr MSP; Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Environment, Land Reform and COP26 - Annie Wells MSP

Chief Whip – Liz Smith MSP

Deputy Whip – Alexander Stewart MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Donald Cameron MSP

Shadow Minister for Finance – Alexander Burnett MSP

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

Shadow Minister for Constitution and External Affairs – Oliver Mundell MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health – Miles Briggs MSP

Shadow Cabinet Minister for Health – Brian Whittle MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education – Jamie Greene MSP

Shadow Minister for Education – Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP

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

Shadow Minister for Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Alison Harris MSP

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

Shadow Minister for Business, Infrastructure and Transport – Gordon Lindhurst MSP

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

Shadow Minister for Rural Economy and Tourism – Peter Chapman MSP

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

Shadow Minister for Housing, Communities and Social Security – Jeremy Balfour MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Strategy – Adam Tomkins MSP

Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Land Reform and COP26 – Finlay Carson MSP

Committee Conveners

Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Michelle Ballantyne MSP*

Rural Economy & Connectivity – Edward Mountain MSP

Justice – Margaret Mitchell MSP

Delegated Powers & Law Reform – Bill Bowman MSP*

Vice Chairmen for Campaigning

Miles Briggs MSP

Alexander Burnett MSP