John Swinney has been officially sworn in as the seventh First Minister of Scotland. Fun fact, Scotland has had seven first ministers in 25 years and the UK has had five Tory prime ministers in the past eight years. Remind me which is the party of chaos and unstable government.

While we wait for the new first minister to announce his new cabinet appointees, the chaos and instability of the Conservatives continues.

Just moments before Prime Minister's Questions were due to start in the House of Commons the second defection within two weeks of a Conservative MP to Labour was announced.

Right-wing Tory MP Natalie Elphicke was selected as the Conservative candidate for Dover in 2019 after her then-husband Charlie Elphicke, who at the time was the Conservative MP for Dover, was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and sentenced to two years in prison.

READ MORE: Conservative MP defects to Labour moments before PMQs

Elphicke obtained a divorce after her husband's conviction but in 2021 she was found to have breached the parliamentary code of conduct by the Commons Select Committee on Standards for attempting to influence senior judges in November 2020 in her husband's failed appeal against his sentence.

Like her ex-husband, Elphicke was firmly on the right of the Conservative party, a strong supporter of Brexit and the government's Rwanda plan.

In a statement she announced that Sunak could not be trusted to "keep our borders safe and secure", adding: "We need to move on from the broken promises of Rishi Sunak’s tired and chaotic Government."

The National: Conservative MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke (Gareth Fuller/PA)Natalie Elphicke defected to Labour just before Prime Minister's Questions 

In her vehement statement, she wrote: "The elected Prime Minister was ousted in a coup led by the unelected Rishi Sunak.

“Under Rishi Sunak, the Conservatives have become a byword for incompetence and division. “The centre ground has been abandoned and key pledges of the 2019 manifesto have been ditched."

Elphicke's defection to Labour follows Dan Poulter who left two weeks ago.

The MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, and a former junior minister, who defected from the Tories claiming that the Conservatives could not be trusted with the NHS.

Neither of these two former Conservative MPs has had a hallelujah moment and realised that British conservativism is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

They are still Tories, in Elphicke's case still a right-wing Tory, it's just that they recognise something that BBC Scotland won't admit, the Labour party of Keir Starmer has moved so far to the right that it is now a comfortable political home for people with decidedly right-wing Anglo-British nationalist views.

Steve Baker, the right-wing Tory advocate of the hardest possible Brexit, wrote on social media: "I have been searching in vain for a Conservative MP who thinks themself to the right of Natalie Elphicke”

Adding that one of his colleagues had quipped: “I didn’t realise there was any room to her right."

These defections tell us rather more about the state of the Labour party than they do about the Conservatives.

A Conservative MP or the far-right of a party which has moved very far to the right in recent years and who is noted for her opposition to immigration now feels that the Labour party of Starmer is more in tune with what we are obliged to call her 'principles'.

That speaks volumes about the truly dire state of British politics.

New First Minister John Swinney has begun making announcements of his new cabinet.

The National: Kate Forbes entered Bute House before being announced as Deputy First Minister

As was widely expected his erstwhile rival Kate Forbes has been appointed as his deputy first minister.

There had been speculation that she would contest the party leadership, but following talks with Swinney she announced that she would not be putting her name forward, and was instead backing the former deputy first minister.

For his part, Swinney committed himself to offering her a "significant" role in his government.

The post of deputy first minister is the second most important in the Scottish Government, so the new first minister has been a man of his word.

We can hope that this appointment will go a long way to healing the divisions within the SNP and getting the party ready and united as it faces a Westminster general election against a resurgent Labour party which now boasts two right-wing former Conservative MPs within its ranks.

READ MORE: John Swinney announces new Scottish Cabinet ministers – see full list

Other ministerial appointments will be announced throughout the course on Wednesday afternoon.

The previous deputy first minister, Shona Robison, resigned to make way for Forbes but is expected to remain in the cabinet.

In a statement, the new deputy first minister said she was "deeply honoured to accept John's invitation".

Adding: " This is a moment of extraordinary privilege for me.

“I look forward to working with John and cabinet colleagues to deliver for the people of Scotland and build a better country."

At PMQs in the Commons today Sunak was challenged by SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn over the issue of the UK continuing to supply arms to Israel despite the concerns that have been raised about alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza and the widespread death and destruction that Israel has wrought upon the civilian population of the Palestinian territory.

Flynn's intervention came after the Biden administration announced that it was going to pause a shipment of over 3500 bombs to Israel amidst growing international concerns about Israel's military offensive in Rafah where more than 1 million Palestinian refugees are crowded.

The SNP leader said: “As we await the imminent Israeli incursion into Rafah, where 1.2 million people are sheltering, including 600,000 children, it has been reported that the United States has paused an arms shipment to Israel."

However, Sunak insisted that the UK will not halt arms shipments to Israel.

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