ANAS Sarwar has reshuffled his frontbench team and claimed it is now “election ready”.

Appointing deputy leader Jackie Baillie and MP Ian Murray as his campaign coordinators, he said his party would take on both the SNP and the Tories in the coming general election.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has floated greater tactical voting among Unionist voters to oust SNP MPs, but Mr Sarwar has rejected any suggestion of an electoral pact.

The heightened focus on campaigning comes as the Scottish Labour leader faces a key test in a likely Westminster byelection in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

MP Margaret Ferrier, who was elected for the SNP in 2019 with a majority of 5,240 over Labour, is expected to face a recall byelection after breaking Covid lockdown rules.

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It is an early test for SNP leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf, with the background to the vote and the turmoil in his party making defeat highly likely.

However it is arguably an even bigger test for Mr Sarwar, for if Scottish Labour cannot win with the SNP in such trouble, it will put a question mark over a Labour revival UK-wide.  

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Rishi Sunak must call a general election by January 2025, but a vote is  widely expected in late 2024.

The Prime Minister's timing may well be affected by next month's local elections in England.

If Tory losses are significant, Mr Sunak is likely to play it long in the hope of a turnaround, but better than expected results may accelerate a vote.

Mr Sarwar also shook up his shadow cabinet today, moving Michael Marra from Education to Finance and promoting Pam Duncan-Glancy to Education.

The Glasgow MSP said: “Today I am announcing that Scottish Labour is election ready, with my colleagues Ian Murray and Jackie Baillie being unveiled as co-coordinators for the next general election in Scotland.

“At that election, only Scottish Labour can take seats from the SNP, kick the Tories out, and deliver the Labour government that Scotland badly needs.

“From implementing a meaningful windfall tax on oil and gas giants to creating GB energy and the thousands of jobs that will bring to Scotland, a Labour government will transform our country. The road to that Labour government begins in Scotland. 

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“It is my promise to you, that the Scottish Labour Party I lead will always focus on your priorities. Scottish Labour – the change that Scotland needs.”

The full Scottish Labour line-up is as follows:

Jackie Baillie – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care and Drugs Policy

Carol Mochan – Public Health and Women’s Health spokesperson

Paul Sweeney -  Mental Health and Veterans spokesperson

Daniel Johnson – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Business and Fair Work

Michael Marra – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance

Mark Griffin – Local Government and Housing spokesperson 

Pam Duncan-Glancy – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

Martin Whitfield – Business Manager and Children and Young People spokesperson

Sarah Boyack – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy, and Just Transition 

Alex Rowley – Transport spokesperson

Mercedes Villalba – Environment and Biodivisity spokesperson 

Rhoda Grant – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands

Neil Bibby - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture

Foysol Choudhury – Culture, Europe and international development spokesperson

Paul O’Kane - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice and Social Security, and Equalities

Pauline McNeill – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice 

Katy Clark – Community Safety spokesperson