North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain has been chosen as the new deputy leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
A former police officer, Ms Chamberlain was first elected to Westminster in 2019 after winning the seat from the SNP’s Stephen Gethins.
She is the Lib Dem’s chief whip at Westminster, as well as spokesperson for Scotland, Wales, and work and pensions.
Speaking at the announcement of her appointment at the party’s Edinburgh headquarters, Ms Chamberlain said she is “so excited, so proud” to be deputy leader.
She insisted only the Liberal Democrats offer a “real alternative opposition” both at Holyrood and Westminster.
However, the party’s new top team faces a rebuilding job after a disappointing Scottish Parliament election in May saw them slump to just four MSPs.
Proud to work with Lib Dem MSPs
She said the group are “consistently demanding better” at Holyrood and it is “not all rosy in Westminster either”.
“I’m not sure who the bigger threat to the future of the UK is now,” Ms Chamberlain said. “The SNP or this Tory Government, which cannot escape its own poor decisions, U-turns or sleaze.”
The new deputy leader accused the SNP of leading Scotland “from crisis to crisis” and claimed the party cares more about breaking up the UK than education children, providing good healthcare or tackling climate change.
“The Liberal Democrats were first to understand, the first to fight for properly devolved policy making,” Ms Chamberlain said.
“For policy making that really works for the people of Scotland, that ensures that powers and resources are deployed where they can be used to the greatest effect.
“And no other party has caught up.”
From policing to Parliament
Ms Chamberlain is originally from Greenock but has lived in Fife since 2003 with her husband and two children.
She joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1999, serving for 12 years as a police officer, and also worked part-time as a communications lecturer for the then Lauder College in Dunfermline, alongside a number of other roles.
Ms Chamberlain joined the Scottish Liberal Democrats in May 2015 and stood as both a council and General Election candidate in 2017 before being elected to Westminster the following year.
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) December 3, 2021
Setting out how she intends to fulfil her role as deputy leader, the MP said Scottish people get the best results “when we work together”.
“Differences must be respected, and we must all be equals around the table,” she said.
“Then and only then will policies on trade, on immigration, on the environment – things people really care about – then will they work for all the people of the UK.
“Together we are greater than the sum of our parts. Together we can make change happen. Together we can provide New Hope.”
Ms Chamberlain said she wants to the country to be strong, prosperous and fair.
“This is the vision we offer, and this is what I commit to fighting for as your deputy leader,” she said.