Tough role for south-west MP as Brexit countdown begins

An MP from the region has been appointed to a key parliamentary role as the countdown begins to the UK's scheduled departure from the EU.

The appointment of Conservative Alister Jack as Government assistant whip in the House of Commons has been confirmed by Her Majesty The Queen.

Mr Jack and his Whip's Office colleagues face the challenging job of trying to ensure their party's MPs vote through contentious Government Brexit business.

Their task is made doubly difficult as the Conservatives do not have an overall majority and govern with the support of Northern Ireland's DUP.

Mr Jack, 56, who has a farming and international business background, won the Dumfries and Galloway seat from the SNP in the June, 2017 General Election with a substantial 5,643 majority.

A native of Kirkcudbrightshire, he is married with three grown-up children and lives near Dumfries.

His latest promotion follows a period on the influential Treasury Select Committee, then a Commons communication and liaison role as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Leader of the House of Lords.

Mr Jack commented that he felt honoured to have been asked to take up the appointment at such an eventful time for Parliament and the country.

He said: "I look forward to the challenges ahead and will do my utmost to make a useful contribution in the crucial days ahead as we prepare to leave the European Union.

"As always, though, my top priority will be representing the people of my Dumfries and Galloway constituency."