ANAS Sarwar has snubbed Richard Leonard as he unveiled Scottish Labour's new parliamentary frontbench with no role for the former leader. 

All of the newly elected MSPs have been given a portfolio, with a key position for Jackie Baillie who takes on the dual role of shadow secretary for Covid recovery and shadow cabinet secretary for health and social care.

Leonard, who is on the left of the party, defeated Sarwar to win the 2017 Scottish Labour leadership election following a bitter and prolonged contest.

But Leonard unexpectedly quit the role in January this year after seeing off attempts to oust him including a motion of no confidence in his leadership put forward by members of the political right of the party.

He was blamed for poor results in the 2019 European Parliament election and 2019 general election.

Former Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley was also absent from the list of frontbench names.

Rowley had served under Leonard as the party's spokesman on the constitution and supported a position of being open to a second referendum backing a third option of "devolution max" on the ballot paper.

Announcing his reshuffle Sarwar appointed long serving MSP Claire Baker to the post of shadow minister for drugs policy, former minister Sarah Boyack to the role of shadow cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture, while he unveiled newcomer Michael Marra to the post of shadow cabinet secretary for education and skills.

Scottish Labour had their worst ever result in a Holyrood election this month, losing two MSPs to take a total of just 22 - nine behind the Conservatives who remain the largest opposition party, and 42 behind the SNP. However, polling ahead of the May 6 vote suggested they could have done worse.

The frontbench team is:
• Leader - Anas Sarwar 
• Shadow Minister for Drugs Policy - Claire Baker  
• Deputy Leader, Shadow Secretary for Covid Recovery & Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care  - Jackie Baillie 
• Shadow Minister for Mental Wellbeing, Women's Health and Sport – Carol Mochan 
• Shadow Minister for Public Health and  Social Care – Paul O’Kane

• Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland - Ian Murray

• Shadow Minister for Parliamentary Business and Transport - Neil Bibby 

• Shadow Minister for Land Reform, Islands and Chief Whip - Rhoda Grant

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy  - Daniel Johnson 
• Shadow Minister for Employment and Public Finance  – Paul Sweeney 

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport - Monica Lennon  
• Shadow Minister for Environment, Biodiversity – Mercedes Villalba

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills – Michael Marra  
• Shadow Minister for Children and Young People, Lifelong Learning and Youth Employment - Martin Whitfield

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice - Pauline McNeill  
• Shadow Minister for Community Safety - Katy Clark

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing and  Local Government - Mark Griffin  

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice and Social Security – Pam Duncan-Glancy

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development and Rural Affairs – Colin Smyth

• Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the  Constitution, External Affairs and Culture – Sarah Boyack  
• Shadow Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development – Foysol Choudhury

Commenting on the appointments, Sarwar said: “This is a team that brings together the best of the Labour movement with a focus on delivering a national recovery for the people of Scotland. 

“I’m particularly delighted to welcome the new talents to the Labour group, they have already brought an energy and enthusiasm that continues to build on the sense of optimism from the election campaign.

"This team demonstrates a relentless focus on protecting lives and livelihoods and taking the bold action needed to build a fairer and more equal nation coming through this crisis.

"Scottish Labour, under my leadership, will work with anyone in the national interest where there is agreement, but we will not hesitate in pushing the government to go further when it is too timid and we will expose the government’s failures when they get it wrong.

“Across the country, Labour is focusing on what unites the people of Scotland and continuing to build the alternative to the SNP – if you want to be part of that journey join us.”

It is proposed that Baker, Rowley, and Leonard will be nominated to chair the party’s allocated committees which are expected to be announced tomorrow. Reports suggest Labour may be allocated the convenership of the justice committee.