Murphy names his rivals in cabinet

Jim Murphy has handed new shadow cabinet roles to his two rivals for the Scottish Labour leadership but has not included predecessor Johann Lamont in his top team.

Mr Murphy included Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack - who both stood against him for the leadership job - in his shadow cabinet.

Mr Findlay, who was Labour’s Holyrood health spokesman, has been switched to fair work, skills and training while Ms Boyack has been given the rural affairs, food and environment brief.

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North East Scotland MSP Jenny Marra, regarded as a rising star within the party, becomes Labour’s shadow health secretary while former leader Iain Gray will speak on education and lifelong learning.

Hugh Henry, who was a deputy justice minister in the Scottish Executive, returns from the back benches to take on the justice brief once again while Jackie Baillie moves from being shadow social justice secretary to the crucial role of speaking for the party on finance, constitution and the economy.

Graeme Pearson, a former director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, was Labour’s justice spokesman but now moves to the enterprise role.

Meanwhile, Ms Lamont is not included in the new shadow cabinet, with Mr Murphy stating she had not been seeking a frontbench role.

He said: “Johann and I have been in touch with one another, she has wished me well. I’m looking forward to getting together with her, but Johann wasn’t looking for a job in today’s reshuffle.

“I think Johann will be a big part of the Scottish Labour Party for years to come.”

He vowed he would lead his party from Scotland, revealing he had just been given a pass for Holyrood and was in the process of establishing an office there.

As the new Scottish Labour leader does not have a seat in Holyrood, his deputy leader Kezia Dugdale will be the one to question Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions.

“I’ll lead the Scottish Labour Party from Scotland,” Mr Murphy said.

“I will be working out of the Scottish Parliament, I will be working with colleagues, working with Kez.”

He continued: “Politics exists beyond parliaments, it exists beyond debating chambers in the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament or council chambers.

“There’s a big brilliant world out there across Scotland that exists beyond parliaments and councils, and I’m determined that the Scottish Labour Party reconnects with communities in a way I don’t think we have done for 20 years.”