THE new leader of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland has emphasised the importance of the voice of business to be heard as the ongoing Brexit uncertainty bites into sentiment.

Malcolm Cannon has been drafted in from his role as chief executive of Cricket Scotland to replace David Watt, who will depart later this summer.

Mr Cannon, a former boss of wellington boot brand Hunter and ESPC, the Edinburgh property firm, will join the IoD in September. His appointment comes as business groups step up their calls for the UK Government to provide clarity on the Brexit process, with the continuing uncertainty blamed for flagging confidence and weak investment. Outgoing chief Mr Watt fired a broadside at the current direction of UK politics in The Herald yesterday, stating that the Brexit debate was characterised by leading politicians, such as Boris Johnson, “making assertions with no factual background.”

Mr Cannon said: “It is no secret that businesses and their leaders are currently working day to day and not year to year as a direct result of the strained political and economic environments. It is therefore the responsibility of organisations like the Institute of Directors to be their voice in Scotland and ensure that they are heard at the highest levels.”

IoD Scotland chairman Aidan O’Carroll said Mr Cannon has built a reputation for “reinvigorating” brands and taking them to the “widest possible audience”. He added: “As we transform the IoD here in Scotland to be the leading organisation that attracts directors and other leaders across all sectors, Malcolm will bring a dynamic approach that I have no doubt will reinforce our relevance in the business community.”