Dundee councillor Michael Marra has been appointed to new Labour leader Anas Sarwar’s ‘campaign cabinet’.
On Monday Anas Sarwar unveiled a swathe of new appointments to lead Scottish Labour into the Holyrood elections on May 6.
Mr Marra, who is a candidate for the North-East region, will now be the party’s education spokesperson for the election campaign.
The Lochee councillor is hoping to replace his sister, Jenny Marra MSP, when the public goes to the polls in May, after she announced she is not seeking re-election for the North-East.
Mr Marra said: “I am very pleased to be asked by Anas to take on the education and skills portfolio in his campaign cabinet.
“Education in Scotland has, of course, long transformed lives and communities.
“My family arrived barefoot in Dundee in the 1830s and 100 years later our lot changed because my grandmother’s siblings slaved in the mills to send her to college.
“She became a teacher in St Mary’s Lochee.
“It was her vocation that changed my life.
“For some in Scotland education still changes the course of their life and promises a better future for their family.
“If we are being honest that happens for far too few.
“We must change that.”
In paying tribute to those working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, he also said “our science has saved us while our politics has failed”.
Making the announcement, Anas Sarwar said: “We are only weeks away from the Holyrood election and we have built a team from both the parliament and our wide movement for our campaign cabinet.
“I am determined to bring our party together and harness all our talent, so that together we lead Scottish Labour into this contest with a firm focus on rebuilding our country.
“In the coming weeks we will outline our vision for Scotland, with an NHS restart plan, a catch-up plan for our children, and a real vision for jobs – for now and for the future.
“We will focus on what unites out country – not what divides it – because by working together we can built a better future for Scotland.”
Anas Sarwar has also brought in some other familiar names to his team, including leadership rival Monica Lennon as economy and fair work spokesperson, interim party leader Jackie Baillie as health, social care and equalities spokesperson, and Scottish Labour’s sole Westminster MP, Ian Murray, as shadow secretary of state.
Mr Marra stood for Westminster in the 2015 general election, but came second to current Dundee West MP Chris Law, who has since been elected to the Dundee constituency twice.