Former MSP James Kelly named general secretary of Scottish Labour by Anas Sarwar

A FORMER Labour MSP who failed to be returned to Holyrood in May has been named the party’s new general secretary.

James Kelly, who was a Labour MSP from 2007 until 2021, will take over from acting general secretary Drew Smith, who will stay on with the party in an expanded strategic and political role working closely with both the UK and Scottish leadership.

During his time at Holyrood, Mr Kelly acted as the party’s spokesperson in a number of high-profile briefs – including finance and justice. He nominated Anas Sarwar as party leader following the resignation of Richard Leonard earlier this year.

He also served as the Scottish Labour Party’s parliamentary business manager at Holyrood, and chaired numerous election and by-election campaigns.

Mr Kelly said: I am honoured to be appointed Scottish Labour’s new general secretary.

“We are building the alternative to years of failed government by the SNP, and I look forward to working with Anas, our party’s staff, our parliamentarians, councillors, members and affiliates to help build a stronger and fairer Scotland.”

Mr Sarwar also recently appointed Kate Watson to serve as his chief of staff to support Scottish Labour’s work at Holyrood.

He said: “James is a fantastic campaigner and I’m delighted he is bringing his years of political experience to this vital role.

“As we build towards council elections next year, that background will be vital in helping out dedicated and tireless staff and candidates build winning campaigns across Scotland.

“I also want to thank Drew Smith for his tireless work on getting Labour back on the pitch and am delighted that he is staying on to help shape the party’s strategy going forward.

“Scottish Labour is focussed on doing just one thing – building the alternative to the SNP and the Tories that Scotland deserves.

“We will work tirelessly to achieve that, and it will if you agree with me that Scotland deserves better, I hope you will join me on that journey.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992