Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 13:59 UK

Tory front bench at-a-glance

Annabel Goldie - Scottish Conservative leader
Annabel Goldie (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Annabel Goldie has established herself as a formidable personality and much-liked public figure in her role as party leader.

The West of Scotland MSP has won recognition from many in her party for her steadfast leadership after she took the reins following the resignation of her predecessor, David McLetchie.

Miss Goldie, the party's former deputy leader and known for her dry wit and self-deprecating humour, worked as a lawyer before entering Holyrood.

Murdo Fraser - Deputy leader and health
Murdo Fraser (pic by the Scottish Parliament)


Murdo Fraser has often been tipped as a future Scots Tory leader, and took a big step towards that position when he became deputy.

The former commercial lawyer entered Holyrood in 2001 as a Mid Scotland and Fife MSP when the sitting Tory, Nick Johnston, resigned.

Mr Fraser, an ex-Young Conservatives chairman, was also associated with Scottish Tory think tank "The Tuesday Club" and has suggested breaking away from the party south of the border, in order to end perceptions of it being a predominantly English one.

John Lamont - Justice
John Lamont (pic by the Scottish Parliament)


John Lamont's interest in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour helped him land the community safety role, despite being new to parliament.

He pulled off one of the Tory successes of the 2007 election, after taking the Roxburgh and Berwickshire seat from the Liberal Democrats, which was until then held by the former minister Euan Robson.

Mr Lamont says he knows the Borders like the back of his hand and claims to be a "well kent face" around his constituency.

Derek Brownlee - Finance
Derek Brownlee (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Derek Brownlee has gone from strength to strength since he entered Holyrood as one of the youngest MSPs in 2005.

He described becoming a South of Scotland MSP as "odd", but, after automatically replacing David Mundell following his election as an MP, Mr Brownlee took on the party's finance role, holding ministers to account in his own quiet but efficient way.

In order to carry out his number crunching role for the Scottish Conservatives, Mr Brownlee may well be able to draw on his previous experience as a chartered accountant and former head of taxation and pensions at the Institute of Directors.

John Scott - Rural affairs and environment
John Scott (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

John Scott's first hand experience in farming and of the agriculture industry will certainly allow him a deep insight into his rural affairs brief.

The quiet but effective politician, who won the seat of Ayr in the Scottish Parliament's first by-election, played a key role in the ultimately successful campaign to save the local hospital's Accident and Emergency unit.

Mr Scott, a civil engineering graduate, also established the Ayrshire Farmers Market and served on the Scottish Parliament's corporate body, which oversees the running of Holyrood.

David McLetchie - Chief whip
David McLetchie (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

David McLetchie has undoubtedly lifted his party's profile, and effectively led a Conservative revival north of the border as leader.

Despite the travel expenses row which saw him stand down from that role, Mr McLetchie has proven to be effective in the parliament chamber - especially in his questioning of first ministers - and popular in his Edinburgh Pentlands constituency, which he took from Labour in the 2003 election.

The former Lothians MSP and ex-law firm partner has been politically active since his student days and also served on Strathclyde Commission, set up to reform the Tories following the 1997 General Election.

Ted Brocklebank - Europe and culture
Ted Brocklebank (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Ted Brocklebank may find the experience he gained during his long journalistic career useful, at least, for the culture part of his spokesman role.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP quit as the Scottish party's fisheries spokesman in protest after Conservative leader David Cameron stepped back from a threat to withdraw the UK from the EU common fisheries policy.

Mr Brocklebank, a former Grampian Television head of news and current affairs who rose to prominence as a documentary maker, was once rebuked for using the F-word in the Holyrood chamber while quoting one of Bob Geldof's more famous and colourful lines.

Gavin Brown - Political adviser to the leader
Gavin Brown (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Gavin Brown, one of several Tory Holyrood newcomers, made his name as a motivational speaker and lawyer before becoming an MSP.

The Lothians MSP has campaigned on a number of sensitive issues in the past, including calls for more police on the beat, retaining Greenbelt areas and halting the closure of NHS hospitals.

Mr Brown's political opponents in the parliament chamber had better watch out - as well as being a past world debating champion, he holds a black belt in Tae Kwon-Do.

Alex Johnstone - Housing and communities
Alex Johnstone (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Alex Johnstone has moved on to a new front bench role, following his stint as a spokesman and committee convener on rural affairs.

The cheery North East Scotland MSP, elected to Holyrood in 1999, was a self-employed dairy and arable farmer in his native Kincardineshire.

In 2001, Mr Johnstone became the Scottish Conservatives' chief whip and business manager.

Liz Smith - Education
Liz Smith (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Liz Smith no sooner took up her front bench position before issuing a call to give teachers powers to search pupils for knives.

Despite being another Holyrood newcomer, entering parliament as an MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Ms Smith already has a past record of service to her party - serving as a political advisor to Sir Malcolm Rifkind and taking on a senior role at the Scottish Conservative central office.

She is also an author and a keen sportswoman, with particular interest in cricket and hill-walking, and has taken part in mountaineering expeditions to the Alps and Himalayas.

Jackson Carlaw - Transport and environment
Jackson Carlaw (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Jackson Carlaw racked up an extensive record of voluntary service with the Scottish Conservatives before becoming a West of Scotland MSP.

The former Tory Party deputy-chairman spent 25 years in the motor industry and has worked as an independent business consultant.

Mr Carlaw, whose hobbies include "light walking", is one of the new intake of MSPs following the 2007 Scottish election.

Jamie McGrigor - Environment
Jamie McGrigor (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Jamie McGrigor, before settling as an MSP in the Edinburgh parliament, spent time in Kashmir and Russia before working in shipping in Glasgow.

One of his key achievements was putting forward the amendment which led to the previous Labour/Lib Dem government's first parliamentary defeat, on the issue of fishing, and he also supported David Cameron in his successful bid to lead the Conservative Party.

The Eton-educated Highlands and Islands MSP, who has worked as both a stockbroker and a farmer, is known for his silky guitar-playing skills.

Nanette Milne - Public health and sport
Nanette Milne (pic by the Scottish Parliament)

Nanette Milne gradually cut back on her first career as a doctor and increased her political interests, becoming a North East Scotland MSP in 2003.

The former Aberdeen councillor also spent time working in cancer research and, in her role as Scots Tory health spokeswoman, called for school boards to be given a legal right to veto sex education material in classrooms.

Ms Milne, who joined the Conservative Party in 1974, also served as a member of the Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee.



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