Richard Leonard's show of strength

Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard today reshuffled his Shadow Cabinet, sacking Anas Sarwar and Jackie Baillie, in show of strength and bringing greater coherence to his team

A senior Labour source told the Red Robin, "this is a show of strength from Richard to remove those that have been undermining him". For months there has been a parallel briefing operation against the Labour leadership in the Scottish press. It is understood that Richard Leonard wanted to move loyalists into key positions to strengthen his leadership. Monica Lennon has been appointed Health Spokesperson to replace Anas and key Leonard loyalist Neil Findlay has been appointed Business Manager. 

Scottish Executive Committee Member Stephen Low told the Red Robin, "We've rightly moved on from being a party that  advocated PFI and war - and we should have a front bench that reflects that. Richard is to be commended on his efforts at putting together a team who can credibly argue for our new focus on tackling inequality and building public ownership."


Anas Sarwar said on Twitter:

Richard Leonard, Leader,also leading on the economy brief 
Lesley Laird, Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Claire Baker, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
Claudia Beamish, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
Neil Findlay, Business Manager, Party Liaison, Constitutional Relations
Rhoda Grant, Shadow Cabinet secretary for Rural Economy
Iain Gray, Shadow Cabinet secretary for Education and Skills
Daniel Johnson, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice
James Kelly, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance
Monica Lennon, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
Pauline McNeil, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, Housing and Social Security
Elaine Smith, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Eradication of Poverty and Inequality
Colin Smyth, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Connectivity and Transport
Alex Rowley, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government

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