Scotland politics

Scottish Conservatives unveil 'shadow cabinet'

Scottish Conservatives

The Scottish Conservatives have unveiled what they described as their "shadow cabinet" team after finishing second in the Holyrood election.

The party's spokespeople have largely been drawn from the new faces among its 31 MSPs.

But Liz Smith retains her role as education spokeswoman, and will be tasked with holding John Swinney to account in his new job.

Murdo Fraser will shadow the new finance secretary Derek Mackay.

John Lamont remains as the party's chief whip, and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw will shadow Fiona Hyslop in culture, tourism and external affairs.

The remaining six posts have all gone to new MSPs, including Dean Lockhart, who has been appointed economy, jobs and fair work spokesman, Donald Cameron in health and sport and Adam Tomkins shadowing communities, social security, the constitution and equalities.

Douglas Ross will be the party's new justice spokesman, Peter Chapman takes rural economy and connectivity and Maurice Golden will speak on the environment, climate change and land reform.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the party had appointed a blend of experience and new talent to the roles.

She added: "This team brings talent and expertise from outside the parliament into the elected politics of Scotland.

"They will do the job that people in Scotland want to see from us - holding the SNP to accounct, putting forward positive policy alternatives and ensuring that, through strong opposition, we get better government."

The SNP criticised the "appalling" lack of women in the Conservative team, which it claimed showed that the Tories were "incapable of representing 21st Century Scotland".

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her Scottish government cabinet on Wednesday, with the appointments formally approved by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday afternoon.

Her cabinet consisted of five men and five women, including Ms Sturgeon.