THE new leader of the Scottish Labour Party has announced her frontbench team, finding a top job for her closest rival, returning a veteran from the backbenches and appointing an MSP from May's new intake.

Johann Lamont began her overhaul of the Shadow Cabinet by handing the key remit of finance, employment and sustainable growth to Ken Macintosh, the candidate she beat for the leadership thanks to trade union support.

Former Herald Politician of the Year Hugh Henry, who was education minister in the Labour-LibDem Executive, moves off the backbenches to become education spokesman while Kezia Dugdale, a Lothian Region MSP, becomes the youth employment spokeswoman.

As well as Mr Henry, there is also a return to the frontbench for Glasgow Maryhill MSP Patricia Ferguson, who will be spokeswoman for culture, external affairs and the Commonwealth Games.

The shake-up was limited, with familiar faces keeping high-profile roles. However, some were given different responsibilities.

Jackie Baillie keeps her job as health spokeswoman, Richard Baker becomes spokesman for infrastructure and capital Investment, Lewis Macdonald is justice spokesman, Sarah Boyack becomes spokeswoman for local government and planning, and Claire Baker becomes spokeswoman for rural affairs and Environment. Paul Martin remains parliamentary business manager and James Kelly is the chief whip.

Ms Lamont said her team's job was "not just to hold the Scottish Government to account, but to show our party's ambition again".

"Together we must set out and convince the people of Scotland of Labour's vision for our country," she added.

"Ours is a positive vision for a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way, a wealth-creating Scotland that uses its wealth to build a fairer country, a Scotland determined that not one person's talent is wasted, a Scotland that challenges all Scots to be all that they can be, and which creates the conditions in which we can reach our aspirations."

She said she would be making more appointments to include "experts in their fields from all walks of life to advise, share experience and help shape the future of our country".

The shadow Cabinet met for the first time in Glasgow yesterday and Ms Lamont said one of her first challenges would be to keep control of the city council in the local government elections.

The SNP shocked Labour in Glasgow in May, winning the most seats in the city and giving it the hope it could win control.

Ms Lamont said: "The local government elections will be a huge challenge. It must about what local government is about, which is delivering high quality services. The debate must be about local government and not being a step to something else."

Ms Lamont also said her deputy, Glasgow Central MP Anas Sarwar, would be leading a review of the party's organisation and she has asked defeated leadership contender Glasgow South MP, Tom Harris, to review the party's policy on technology and how to use social media to re-engage with the public.

SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said: "This reshuffle is the same old Labour faces. Johann Lamont may have talked about change since her appointment on Saturday but her actions do not live up to her words."