STEPHEN Flynn has announced a major shake-up of his top team at Westminster to put the party on an “election footing”.

The SNP’s leader in Westminster has demoted outgoing MP Stewart Hosie from his role as economy spokesperson, to be replaced by Inverness MP Drew Hendry.

And Brendan O’Hara has been moved to be the party's foreign affairs spokesperson following a public bust-up with expelled Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, who now sits as an independent.

O’Hara has been replaced as chief whip by Owen Thompson, who previously held the role under Ian Blackford's leadership. 

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Elsewhere, West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has been promoted to defence spokesperson.  

Dave Doogan, who previously held that role, will take over as the party’s energy spokesperson, replacing Kilmarnock MP Alan Brown.

Chris Stephens replaces Stuart McDonald, the SNP party treasurer, as the party's justice and immigration spokesperson. 

Amy Callaghan and Anum Qaisar (below) also join the frontbench as health and levelling up spokespeople, respectively.

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Tommy Sheppard MP takes over from Philippa Whitford as Scotland spokesperson.

David Linden MP, Alison Thewliss MP, Alyn Smith MP and Kirsten Oswald MP are among those staying in place as social justice spokesperson, home affairs spokesperson, Europe and EU Accession spokesperson, and women and equalities spokesperson, respectively.

In a statement announcing the reshuffle, Flynn focused his message squarely on economic matters, particularly the cost of living crisis.

It follows a report in the Sunday Times that the Westminster party has been urged by researchers to focus its message on the economy, rather than independence, to stand a fighting chance at the coming General Election.

Flynn said: "The SNP's new frontbench team will pile pressure on the UK Government to help families with the cost of living, whilst renewing the positive case for independence in Europe, and investment in Scotland’s enormous renewable energy potential, as the best route to securing strong and sustained economic growth.

The National: SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn

"The Tories trashed the UK economy – and it's increasingly clear the Tory-lite Labour Party is offering no change from the disastrous policies that got the UK into this mess.

"Under Sir Keir Starmer, they back Brexit, austerity cuts, and creeping privatisation of the NHS, which will take the UK down the path to long-term decline and hammer the incomes of families in Scotland.

"The SNP is the party with a plan to deliver strong economic growth – and reduce the cost of living. Scotland is an energy rich country with huge resources. By rejoining the EU, and investing in the renewable energy gold rush, we can build a wealthier, greener and fairer future.

"Over the coming months, my new team will continue to put the Westminster-made cost of living crisis at forefront of our work – and we will make the case that voting SNP is the only way to secure independence, boost the economy and deliver the real hope, and real change the public so badly deserve."