Alister Jack named new Scottish Secretary just two years after election

25 July 2019, 09:03 | Updated: 25 July 2019, 09:04


Alister Jack has been named the new Scottish Secretary by Boris Johnson, just two years after being elected as a Member of Parliament.

The 56-year-old was voted in as representative for Dumfries and Galloway in 2017 and replaces David Mundell who served in the Scotland Office for nine years.

Mr Jack said he was "honoured to have been appointed... at a time when we face very significant challenges as a country".

He added: "We need to leave the EU in a way which works for Scotland and the whole of the UK. We can, and will, leave the EU, and in doing so open up new opportunities for Scottish businesses.

"We need to continue to defend the Union against those who would seek to tear it apart. In 2014, the people of Scotland voted to remain part of a strong United Kingdom.

"We will stand up for their decision against those who would try to impose unwanted and divisive constitutional change.

"At the same time we need to work with the Scottish Government in boosting Scotland's economy, which continues to lag behind that of the rest of the UK, in large part due to the Scottish Government's anti-business and high tax ideology.

"The UK Government will continue to invest across Scotland, including through city and growth deals and supporting our oil and gas industry.

"There are challenges ahead of us, but I am confident that we will meet them successfully, building a path to a more prosperous country."

Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson remarked he had "big shoes to fill, but Alister Jack brings huge experience from outside government into Dover House".

She added: "He has the Scottish party's full support in his new role as Secretary of State."

Mr Jack unseated the SNP's Richard Arkless in the 2017 election with an 11.2% swing and 43.3% of the vote - holding a majority of 5,643.

In April this year he was made a Government whip having served as an assistant for two months and as a parliamentary private secretary before that.

Mr Jack's appointment to the Government came just hours after Mr Mundell was removed from the role in a series of wide-ranging changes made by Mr Johnson.

Mr Mundell said he was "disappointed but not surprised" to be leaving the Government.

The long-serving Tory MP previously said he would find it "extremely difficult" to serve under Mr Johnson.

However sources close to the former Scottish secretary said he had been prepared to stay in the Cabinet, despite differences with the new Prime Minister.

Mr Mundell announced his departure from the Government on Twitter, pledging he would "of course" support Mr Johnson's administration.