A FORMER Scottish Labour MP has taken up a job in the UK Government’s Scotland Office, where he will be advising ministers and officials.

Tom Harris represented Glasgow South for Labour between 2001 and 2015 and served as transport minister under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He lost his seat in the 2015 SNP landslide.

Following his departure from Westminster, Harris was appointed director of the Scottish branch of the Vote Leave campaign – he went on to quit Labour in 2018, announcing he would be backing the Conservatives in the following election.

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Now it has been confirmed that Harris will be taking on the position of lead non-executive director, for both the Scotland Office and Advocate General for Scotland, with the role lasting for three years.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said he was “very pleased” to welcome the former Labour man into the department.

The minister said: “Tom has extensive experience, as well as an excellent understanding of Scottish public life. He brings to the table a wealth of knowledge and skills in policy, strategy and communications.

“As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, recovery remains our top priority. I’m very pleased to have Tom on board to further strengthen the UK Government’s capabilities as we build back better for Scotland.”

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Meanwhile, Harris said he was “delighted” with his appointment.

“I’m looking forward to contributing to the effective work of the UK Government in Scotland,” he commented. “This is an exciting time to be involved in advising and helping ministers deliver for the whole country.”

The Scotland Office said Harris’s role will involve advising ministers and officials on the delivery of policy, providing support and challenging the department’s direction, and monitoring implementation of business plans.

The announcement comes after the Scotland Office appointed unelected peer and Conservative donor Malcolm Offord to a ministerial position.