Douglas Ross Reshuffles Scottish Tory Front Bench

While Westminster awaits the rumoured Labour Party front bench reshuffle, Douglas Ross has been getting on with it, shifting several members of his opposition team. MSPs got a whiff of the impending changes when the “who we are” section of the Scottish Tory website went down this morning… and the Times reported on a few of the eventual changes before Ross himself had even made the announcement.

Liam Kerr has replaced Stephen Kerr (no relation) as education spokesman, in what can only be described as a sideways move from his previous post as net zero, energy, and transport spokesperson. Jamie Greene was also replaced by his deputy Russell Findlay as the justice spokesman. This promotion likely comes as a reward for his performance speaking against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill earlier in the year. David Mundell has been appointed chair of the Scottish Tory campaign coordination ahead of the general election next year. Both Greene and Stephen Kerr are rumoured to have been agitating against Ross recently, with their respective replacements seen as more loyal lieutenants… 

mdi-timer 28 June 2023 @ 14:35 28 Jun 2023 @ 14:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Patronising Sturgeon Under Fire for Denying Vaccine Promise

For those not following news north of the border, Nicola Sturgeon is embroiled in a vaccine row entirely of her own making. On June 22nd Sturgeon told Holyrood:

“The next milestone will be 18 July. Be then, all adults will have had the first dose of vaccine, which is significantly ahead of schedule. By 26 July, we expect to have given second doses to all 40 to 49-year-olds, and by 20 August, all 30 to 39-year-olds will have had a second dose.”

At her Monday press conference it was pointed out to the First Minister that, on this basis, she has now missed her own deadline given not all 40 to 49-year-olds have had their second dose. However it turned out the press had somehow, stupidly, got it into their heads that when Sturgeon said “given” she in fact meant “offered”. Sturgeon sarcastically lambasted the press for having the temerity to take her on-the-record word as it was spoken:

“When I communicate, and I apologise if this is an error, I kind of communicate at a level where I assume a certain level of intelligence on the part of people listening to me”

As the Scottish Daily Mail’s Stephen Daisly points out, this claim must be false given “she has, one presumes, had conversations with Angus MacNeil”…

Sturgeon’s decision to patronise the press, fellow parliamentarians and the public – for assuming the words she says in the Scottish Parliament should be taken at face value – rather than backing down and apologising for missing a target has now led to the Tories’ chief whip Stephen Kerr writing to Holyrood’s presiding officer. He asks whether Sturgeon can return to the assembly and explain her discrepancy. It seems even for Covid-cautious Sturgeon, the mask does occasionally slip…

mdi-timer 28 July 2021 @ 12:15 28 Jul 2021 @ 12:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments