MSP promoted to shadow cabinet

3 May 2018

Scottish Conservative MSP Michelle Ballantyne has been promoted to the role of shadow social security secretary.

She will replace Adam Tomkins, allowing him to focus solely on his role of constitution spokesman.

The South of Scotland representative became an MSP last year, shortly after the UK General Election, which saw three Holyrood Scottish Conservatives move to Westminster.

She was previously the Scottish Conservative group leader on Scottish Borders Council.

Scottish Conservative shadow social security secretary Michelle Ballantyne said:

“There’s no doubt that this is going to be a big challenge, and a brief that we have to get right for the people of Scotland.

“We supported the devolution of a range of welfare powers and it is incumbent on us now to use them effectively

“I am delighted that Ruth has placed her confidence in me and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in my new role.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“I am delighted to welcome Michelle Ballantyne to the Scottish Conservative front bench as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Security.

“Michelle’s background in nursing, health service management and her work in the third sector providing specialist drug and alcohol support means she brings a wealth of experience to this important brief.

“With so many new powers over welfare coming to the Scottish Parliament, Michelle will be leading the debate for the Scottish Conservatives on how those powers should be best shaped and used in future.

“I thank Adam Tomkins for his hard work in this brief and look forward to him concentrating his full powers on constitutional affairs.”