HUMZA Yousaf has appointed Alex Salmond’s former media adviser as his official spokesperson after two months of searching to fill the top job.

Kevin Pringle, a former communications director for the SNP, has now been appointed to the role of “official spokesperson and strategic political adviser”, the Courier reports.

Pringle, 55, has worked under both Salmond and former first minister Nicola Sturgeon in a number of roles.

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In April, The National reported that Yousaf was aiming to recruit a new Scottish Government spin doctor, as well as finding a replacement for SNP media chief Murray Foote, who stood down from the role over a row over membership numbers and inaccurate figures given to the press.

Fraser MacDonald has now replaced Foote, with Pringle taking on the job previously filled by Stuart Nicolson, a former Daily Mail reporter who was Sturgeon’s chief of communications.

Pringle, born in Dundee and raised in Perth, has held the position of a senior partner at Charlotte Street Partners, communication consultants, since August 2015. He previously helped Salmond take the SNP to its landslide victory in 2011.

“Eight years after I left my last job with the SNP, thinking that was me finally done with working in politics, I’m taking up a new post this month with the Scottish Government,” Pringle wrote in a column for The Courier.

“Despite all the difficulties and controversies, the SNP still seems to me to retain its hard-earned and relatively recently-acquired status of natural party of government in Scotland.

“I’m not saying this will be the case forever, but I think it holds true for now.

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“Indeed, a big part of the attraction of going back to work in government is that this administration – now SNP plus Greens – still has a future, not just a past.

“There are three years to go until the next Scottish Parliament election, but what I don’t yet see is an alternative government among any of the opposition groups, with a compelling, coherent message for change.”

Pringle first worked for the SNP in 1989, where the party only had four MPs in Westminster.

He previously graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in economic history and international relations.

Pringle was Salmond's chief spin doctor before moving on to the head of the party's communications operation, until 2015 when he quit. 

The National: First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf speaks to the media on his way to the main chamber for First Minster's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.  Picture date: Thursday May 18, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SCOTLAND

In his private sector consultancy role at Charlotte Street Partners, Pringle lists his expertise as including media relations and "crisis comms". 

In an opinion piece confirming his appointment, Pringle said: "Compared to the last time I worked in government, I’m on friendly terms with more opposition MSPs (I won’t embarrass them by naming names).

"My belief is they are all in public life for the right reasons.

"I hope there is enough commonality of purpose at Holyrood to address the issues facing Scotland with respect as well as strong belief: partisanship balanced by a degree of collegiality.

"I’m looking forward to finding out."