Scotland politics

Scottish Liberal Democrat portfolios announced

Willie Rennie
Image caption Willie Rennie said the Lib Dems should not be afraid to stand up to the SNP

Newly-appointed Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has announced the portfolios for his new team in the Scottish Parliament.

After a disastrous election on 5 May, the party was reduced to just five MSPs, compared to 16 in the last government.

Tavish Scott stood down as leader following the result.

Mr Rennie said the Liberal Democrats would have a strong voice in the Scottish Parliament.

"We may be a small team, but we're a strong team and we will be a strong Liberal voice in the Scottish Parliament," he said.

"I want each Liberal Democrat to scrutinise government plans to make sure civil liberties, local services and decision making are protected and long-term sustainable plans to get the economy moving are prioritised.

"When the nationalist administration sets aside independence and focuses on these issues, we will work with them.

"But we will not be afraid to stand up to the SNP when they get their priorities wrong."

'SNP bulldozer'

He added: "In this new parliament, despite our small number, we are no different to the other opposition parties.

"An SNP majority means they control parliament - neither our votes nor those of the other parties can stop an SNP bulldozer.

"But Liberal Democrats can and will use persuasion, argument and mobilised public concern to make the case for a better Scotland."

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur will take on the education and energy brief, with Alison McInnes responsible for health and justice.

Mr Scott will deal with business and the economy, while Jim Hume will take on rural, environment, housing and transport.

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