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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Craig Meighan

Stephen Flynn announces SNP's new front bench at Westminster

THE SNP's new Westminster Leader has announced a reshuffle of the party's front bench team in the House of Commons.

Stephen Flynn, who replaced Ian Blackford as leader, welcomed four new additions to his shadow cabinet.

They included Stewart Hosie as economy spokesperson, David Linden MP as social justice spokesperson, Dave Doogan as defence spokesperson and, Chris Stephens MP as levelling up spokesperson.

Flynn MP said the SNP's new front bench showcased a "wealth of talent" as he vowed to "harness" the rise in independence support according to recent polling.

He said: “With three consecutive polls in two weeks showing majority support for independence, momentum is growing and we are at a key point in Scottish politics.

"The SNP Westminster group are on the front foot and ready to harness that momentum, and entirely focussed on standing up for Scotland’s interests and our democratic right to decide our future.

“We have a new dynamic front bench team and within the whole group we have a wealth of talent, experience and expertise. We are in the best position to hold Westminster to account and support our Scottish Government and Holyrood colleagues in delivering independence for Scotland.

“Scotland continues to face the cost-of-living crisis, made worse by Tory ‘wreckonomics’, and we are still being hit with the disastrous impacts of leaving the EU. That is why we now have a spokesperson for EU Accession, and I welcome Alyn Smith MP to that important role.

The National: Stephen Flynn replaced Ian Blackford (pictured) who stood down as Westminster leader last weekStephen Flynn replaced Ian Blackford (pictured) who stood down as Westminster leader last week

“I would also like to welcome those who are new to the front bench, congratulate those with new positions, and thank the whole team for their continued, tireless work.

“With the Tories and Labour both backing Brexit and denying democracy by standing in the way of a Scottish independence referendum, only the SNP is truly standing up for the people of Scotland.

“Support for independence is growing because people know that it is the only route back to the EU, and the only way to escape the broken Westminster system. The SNP Westminster team will work hard to make it happen.”

Flynn, the MP for Aberdeen South, was chosen by the party’s Westminster group to be their new leader ahead of rival candidate Alison Thewliss earlier this week.

He had denied claims that he plotted against his predecessor Blackford, saying anyone who thinks otherwise had watched “too much House of Cards”, a popular TV political drama.

Following Flynn's election, three MPs quit the party's front bench.

Chris Law left his role as shadow international development secretary following resignations from agriculture spokesperson Pete Wishart and defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald.

Full list of SNP front bench positions held by MPs:

SNP Westminster Leader - Stephen Flynn MP

SNP Depute Westminster Leader - Mhairi Black MP

SNP Chief Whip - Martin Docherty-Hughes MP

Economy spokesperson - Stewart Hosie MP

Social Justice spokesperson - David Linden MP

Home Affairs spokesperson - Alison Thewliss MP

Justice and Immigration spokesperson - Stuart McDonald MP

Scotland spokesperson - Dr Philippa Whitford MP

Europe and EU Accession spokesperson - Alyn Smith MP

Foreign Affairs spokesperson - Drew Hendry MP

Environment, Farming, Agriculture and Rural Affairs spokesperson - Patricia Gibson MP

Women and Equalities - Kirsten Oswald MP

International Trade, Northern Ireland and Wales spokesperson - Richard Thomson MP

Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson - Alan Brown MP

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson - John Nicolson MP

Defence spokesperson - Dave Doogan MP

House of Commons Business spokesperson - Deidre Brock MP

Levelling Up spokesperson - Chris Stephens MP

Cabinet Office spokesperson - Kirsty Blackman MP

Transport spokesperson - Gavin Newlands MP

Health spokesperson - Martyn Day MP

International Development - Brendan O’Hara MP

Education spokesperson - Carol Monaghan MP  

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