Deputy Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has been given a new post.

Mr Sarwar is to become a shadow spokesman at international development after Jim Murphy's resignation as the main spokesman following his decision to stand as Scottish party leader triggered a reshuffle tonight.

Glasgow MP Mr Sarwar announced last week that he would quit as no 2 in Scotland, after the results of the Scottish contest for the leader and deputy leaer are known mid-December. The election follows Johann Lamont's resignation as leader last month.

He tweeted: "Having campaigned for last 3 yrs as an internationalist, I'm delighted to have become Shadow Minister of State for International Development."

Mr Murphy's replacement as shadow international development secretary is Mary Creagh, while her former transport brief goes to Michael Dugher. He advised former prime minister Gordon Brown during his time at No 10.

Lucy Powell, who ran Ed Miliband's leadership campaign, has been put in charge of the day-to-day running of the party's effort to win the general election as part of a reshuffle of Labour's top team.

She becomes shadow Cabinet Office minister and vice chair of the general election campaign next year.

Insiders said that it means Mr Miliband will meet his target of at least 50 per cent of his team being female.

A senior Labour source said: "Jim's decision to stand down has created a vacancy which Ed wanted to fill with some of the party's best and most talented campaigners.

"Lucy, who ran Ed's campaign, is obviously a proven talent.

"Ed also wanted to move a step forward in his aim of having a 50/50 gender balance in the Cabinet if we win the next election.

"This means that the promotion of one more woman to the top table would achieve that aim."

There are 17 men and 15 women entitled to attend shadow cabinet meetings as a result of the changes.

Paisley and Renfrewshire MP Douglas Alexander will remain in overall charge of the general election strategy, with Ms Powell in charge of the daily operation.

The Labour source said it was "idiotic" to suggest that the move was a panic measure in the final few months ahead of the May 2015 vote with Labour failing to establish a major lead in the polls.

"That would be a ludicrous interpretation," the source said.

"If you look at the way the campaign has run it was the Labour Party which led the campaign and won the referendum (in Scotland), it was the Labour Party that won in Wythenshawe and Sale, it was the Labour Party which won in Heywood and Middleton.

"We have organisers in 100 key seats, we have a well recognised campaign on the ground."

Mr Dugher, who had been responsible for campaign communications, had been promoted, the source added.

Labour's US campaign guru David Axelrod is also expected to visit the UK shortly.

"David will be around in the near future," the source said.

In other changes, Jon Trickett has been brought into Mr Miliband's office as a senior adviser as a "voice that Ed values", Alison McGovern has replaced Ms Powell as shadow children's minister and Anas Sarwar, who quit as the deputy leader of Scottish Labour, will take a shadow ministerial role in international development.

The source insisted that Ms Creagh's move to international development was "clearly not" a demotion.

"Our commitment to international development is sound and solid and it is going to be a massive area come 2015," the source said.