First French-born MSP sworn in


Scotland's first French-born MSP Christian Allard has been sworn in at Holyrood, on 15 May 2013.

Mr Allard, originally from Dijon, replaces SNP backbencher Mark McDonald who resigned from his North East regional seat to contest the Aberdeen Donside constituency by-election in June.

Mr Allard made his non-religious affirmation at a short ceremony at the Scottish Parliament before business got underway in the debating chamber.

The 49-year-old, who has experience in the fishing industry, made the affirmation twice, once in English and once in French.

Mr Allard worked for Dennis Robertson's office in the successful attempt to get him elected to the Aberdeenshire West constituency two years ago.

Mr Allard previously said it was an honour to join parliament and praised former MSP Brian Adam whose death last month prompted the by-election in Aberdeen.

Regional MSPs are elected according to votes given to the party, rather than individuals, meaning the SNP can automatically top up their quota with Mr Allard who was on the party's North East list but failed to win a place at the last Holyrood election.

The use of more than one language has become more common at Holyrood. After the 2011 election, Italian, Urdu and Gaelic were heard alongside Scots and the Doric dialect.

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