world : Scotland's new MPs to be sworn in at Westminster

world : Scotland's new MPs to be sworn in at Westminster
world : Scotland's new MPs to be sworn in at Westminster

Tuesday 9 July 2024 02:30 AM

Nafeza 2 world - Scotland's 57 MPs are preparing to be sworn in at Westminster after a dramatic general election.

For some of the group, it will be a familiar experience but for a large number it will be their first taste of the Commons.

Parliament resumes on Tuesday after a general election which saw Labour retake power for the first time in 14 years, with Sir Keir Starmer becoming prime minister.

Central to that victory was a remarkable night for the party in Scotland, as swathes of SNP seats turned red.

As a result the number of Labour MPs soared from two - Ian Murray and Michael Shanks - to 37.

One man who won't need the help of the map distributed to new MPs is Douglas Alexander.

He took Lothian East to secure a return to parliament after losing his seat to the SNP's Mhairi Black in 2015.

The former Scottish secretary, who was first elected to Westminster in 1997, was at the heart of the Blair and Brown governments.

Another familiar face for Labour is Pamela Nash, who was the MP for Airdrie and Shotts from 2010 to 2015 - when she was the youngest MP in the Commons.

Ms Nash then served as the chief executive for the Scotland In Union campaign group and has now won another Lanarkshire seat, taking Motherwell, Wishaw and Carluke.

They are joined by two MPs with prior experience of Holyrood - both Patricia Ferguson (Glasgow West) and Richard Baker (Glenrothes and Mid Fife) served as MSPs in the past.

However the majority of Labour's new intake are fresh faces, who will be paired up with a member of the parliamentary staff in a "buddy system" to make sure they don't get lost.

For now they will simply be given lockers and security passes. Offices will follow later on.

Many of the new crop have political experience though, from serving as local councillors to more varied roles.

Blair McDougall (East Renfrewshire) was the lead strategist for Better Together during the independence referendum campaign in 2014, and Kirsty McNeill (Midlothian) worked as an advisor to Gordon Brown.

Joani Reid (East Kilbride and Strathaven) is the grandaughter of the legendary trade unionist Jimmy Reid.

He famously led a successful work-in at the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) in 1971 which halted government plans to close the yards.

Ms Reid told BBC Scotland News the election victory showed that Labour was "back in the service of working people".

She added that she felt society had not progressed enough since her grandfather's time.

Ms Reid added: "I think if progress means anything, it means you have got more opportunities, regardless of where you're born than you than the last generation, and that something isn't happening.

"That's the job for the Labour Party now to fix that."

Zubir Ahmed (Glasgow South West) previously worked as a transplant surgeon and was inspired to enter politics by the state of the health service following the Covid pandemic.

Meanwhile Torcuil Crichton (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) was the Daily Record's Westminster editor.

Victories for other parties mostly came via established regulars, rather than a new crop of politicians.

SNP stalwart Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) continues his lengthy stint as an MP, having first been elected in 2001, while the party's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn held on to his seat .

Stephen Gethins, who represented North East Fife until 2019, returns to parliament having taken Arbroath and Broughty Ferry for the SNP.

Seamus Logan provided arguably the SNP's greatest success story of the night as he defeated Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East.

Mr Logan spent over three decades working in health and social care before a spell as a tour guide, and eventually a stint as an SNP councillor.

Mr Ross' defeat denied him a return to Westminster but several of his colleagues will be back, including the former Scottish secretary David Mundell, who returns as MP for Dumfresshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

John Lamont t, shadow secretary of state for Scotland

Meanwhile, Harriet Cross became the party's first female MP in five years when she took the Gordon and Buchan seat.

John Lamont retained his Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat and on Monday was named as shadow secretary of state for Scotland.

For the Liberal Democrats, two of their number will experience Westminster for the first time later - Susan Murray in Mid Dunbartonshire and Angus MacDonald in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire.

Businessman Mr MacDonald had a particularly lengthy wait.

A recount meant that he did not have his victory over the SNP's Drew Hendry confirmed until Saturday, in the last election result announced across the UK.

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