New SNP MSP Christian Allard has said that he is ‘honoured’ to represent the people of the North East, after being sworn in this afternoon at Holyrood.
French-born Mr Allard takes the place of Mark McDonald, who has resigned his seat in order to contest the Aberdeen Donside by-election to succeed the late Brian Adam.
Christian Allard was born in 1964 in Dijon, France. He has worked in the fishing industry for over 30 years and first came to Scotland over 25 years ago, when he accepted the offer from a European seafood transport and logistics network (Tradimar/STEF) to open an office in Glasgow. After marrying a Scot, he later moved to the North East to work for a seafood exporting company.
Mr Allard has raised three daughters in Scotland, and also now has two grandchildren. He has also been working part-time as a constituency assistant to Dennis Robertson MSP, and was a key part of Mr Robertson’s successful 2011 campaign team in Aberdeenshire West.
Christian Allard joined the SNP almost a decade ago, and his belief that Scotland could and should be an independent country was shaped by his experiences in the fishing industry.
Commenting after his swearing in – which was conducted in both English and French – Mr Allard said:
“It is a great honour to be sworn in as a representative of the North East’s of Scotland in Parliament today, although I would have wished to have joined Parliament in happier circumstances. Brian Adam was a wonderful representative for the people of the North East, and built up a very strong SNP team in the region.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark McDonald who, despite having a young family, has put his job on the line to contest the Aberdeen Donside By-election. I think that speaks volumes about his commitment to the people of Aberdeen Donside, and he has left very big shoes for me to fill.
“I came to Scotland many years ago with few academic qualifications – I did not go to university, but I am proud to have worked hard all of my life. I’ve raised three daughters here, and I am proud to call Scotland my home. Scotland is a wonderfully welcoming country with such huge potential, and it is an honour to serve the people of the North East in the Scottish Parliament.”