James Kelly named Scottish Labour’s new general secretary

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar praised Kelly as a 'fantastic campaigner'.

James Kelly named Scottish Labour’s new general secretary Scottish Parliament TV

Scottish Labour have named former MSP James Kelly as the party’s new general secretary.

Kelly, who served at Holyrood between 2007 and 2021, takes over from acting general secretary Drew Smith.

In May, Kelly lost his seat after being placed fifth on the party’s regional list for the Scottish election.

He previously held positions as Scottish Labour’s spokesman on finance and justice, as well as also having been the party’s chief whip under Johann Lamont.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said that the party will “work tirelessly” to build an alternative to the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives, as he announced the appointment.

“James is a fantastic campaigner and I’m delighted he is bringing his years of political experience to this vital role,” he said.

“As we build towards council elections next year, that background will be vital in helping out dedicated and tireless staff and candidates build winning campaigns across Scotland.

“I also want to thank Drew Smith for his tireless work on getting Labour back on the pitch and am delighted that he is staying on to help shape the party’s strategy going forward.”

Sarwar added: “Scottish Labour is focussed on doing just one thing – building the alternative to the SNP and the Tories that Scotland deserves.

“We will work tirelessly to achieve that, and it will if you agree with me that Scotland deserves better, I hope you will join me on that journey.”

Scottish Labour’s general secretary James Kelly said: “I am honoured to be appointed Scottish Labour’s new general secretary.

“We are building the alternative to years of failed government by the SNP, and I look forward to working with Anas, our party’s staff, our parliamentarians, councillors, members and affiliates to help build a stronger and fairer Scotland.”