Former Scots Lib Dem leader Nicol Stephen given peerage

Image caption, Mr Stephen announced that he was standing down as an MSP in September

Scotland's former deputy first minister, Nicol Stephen, is to be made a peer in the House of Lords.

The Aberdeen South MSP, who is standing down from the Scottish Parliament at the election in May, will take his seat on the Liberal Democrat benches.

Mr Stephen led the party in Scotland for three years until 2008.

The 50-year-old, who served three terms as MSP, was deputy to Labour First Minister Jack McConnell from 2005 to 2007.

He was first elected as a local councillor in 1982.

Mr Stephen said: "It came as quite a surprise to be asked by Nick Clegg to join the House of Lords. It is obviously a very considerable honour.

"It is also a great opportunity to continue to be involved in politics and carry on fighting for the interests of Aberdeen and the North East.

"However I think it will take quite some to get used to being called Lord Stephen - particularly by my children."

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