The new Scottish MPs who have made an impact at Westminster

Danielle Rowley, Labour MP for Midlothian. Picture: John Devlin
Danielle Rowley, Labour MP for Midlothian. Picture: John Devlin
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Scotland had a shocking and seemingly transformative election in 2017, a mere two years since our last shocking and seemingly transformative election.

The SNP’s stance on a second referendum seemed to cost them as they lost 21 seats to all three of their main rivals; Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Conservatives.

Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson

Those parties now have seven, four, and 13 MPs respectively from Scotland, and now have the summer to bed themselves in.

That period of settling down happens even as responsibilities for Scotland’s new MPs come thick and fast, with some starting to make their maiden speeches.

As some of those defeated SNP MPs could tell their successors, making an instant impact, or even having decades of experience (like Alex Salmond) might not be enough to keep your seat.

But it can still help an MP’s profile if they can make a splash early.

Here are some of the new MPs who have made waves in the short time since the election.

David Linden (SNP, Glasgow East)

Considering how many seats they lost, it might be a surprise to note the impact of a new member of parliament from the party.

Mr Linden held on to the seat for the SNP by just 75 votes, after taking over from Natalie McGarry, who was suspended by the party amid a police probe.

The father-of-one knows the importance of local campaigning, and hasn’t wasted time getting back on the streets to talk to his constituents since his narrower than expected victory.

An East Ender for life, he has already shown himself a cool customer, and has impressed as much as some of his colleagues who have been in office even longer than him.

He was appointed a deputy whip by new leader at Westminster Iain Blackford.

READ MORE: New MP attacks foodbanks ‘disgrace’

Danielle Rowley (Labour, Midlothian)

One of the bigger shocks of the night was the daughter of Labour’s deputy leader in Scotland, Alex Rowley, snatching Midlothian from the SNP’s well-regarded Owen Thompson.

Expectations in the party weren’t particularly high in the seat, and seemingly with Ms Rowley herself, who was criticised for taking a fortnight’s holiday to Cuba at the height of the campaign.

But she has found her feet almost instantly in the intimidating circumstances of Westminster, giving interviews on her shock win.

She also gave a well-received maiden speech in which she attacked the ‘disgrace’ of people in Britain being forced to turn to foodbanks.

Hugh Gaffney (Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston, and Bellshill)

This was a solid Labour seat for decades before it fell, along with most of Scotland’s seats, to the SNP in 2015.

Phil Boswell, who won two years ago, was defeated by Mr Gaffney, who made an instant impact by shaking things up at the notoriously stuffy House of Commons.

He went viral after a selfie on his first trip to London wearing his old Parcel Force work polo shirt so he would always remember his roots.

When asked what he was delivering at the austere parliament, Mr Gaffney quipped that he was delivering ‘justice for workers’.

Ross Thomson (Conservative, Aberdeen South)

There is some pretty unfortunate footage circulating on Youtube of then-candidate Ross Thomson getting himself in a bit of a muddle when asked to defend Tory welfare cuts.

The pro-Brexit MP, who was elected to Holyrood last year (and resigned his seat), has clearly been working on his presentation.

He was sent out to bat for Scottish Secretary David Mundell when the latter’s apparent flip-flopping on the Conservatives’ deal with the DUP became a hot button political issue.

Mr Thomson coped admirably with the notorious tough grilling from Radio Scotland presenter Gary Robertson, and his show of loyalty will have clearly endeared himself to Conservative bosses, who may give him a more high-profile role in future.

READ MORE: Tory MPs ‘asked to defend’ David Mundell

Jo Swinson (Lib Dem, East Dunbartonshire)

Not strictly a new MP, as Ms Swinson was first elected in 2005 before losing her seat in the SNP surge to former TV presenter John Nicolson.

She comfortably won back the East Dunbartonshire constituency last month, and has wasted no time in working like she had never been away.

She has made high-profile interventions on a number of issues, and was touted by many as a future leader of the party.

Ms Swinson declined to stand in the leadership election caused by Tim Farron’s resignation, but was elected unopposed as Deputy Leader and looks to be in prime position if, as expected, Vince Cable takes over but resigns before the end of the current parliamentary term.