Aberdeen Donside by-election: SNP MSP quits Holyrood

Mark McDonald is to stand in Aberdeen Donside. Picture: submitted
Mark McDonald is to stand in Aberdeen Donside. Picture: submitted
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NORTH east list MSP Mark McDonald has quit his Scottish Parliament seat to fight to retain the Aberdeen Donside constituency for the Scottish National Party in next month’s by-election.

Mr McDonald was selected as the SNP’s candidate at a meeting of the Party’s Aberdeen Donside Constituency Association held on Monday night.

The by-election, which will be held on 20 June, is being staged following the death of SNP MSP Brian Adam from cancer at the age of 64.

Mr McDonald, who was an Aberdeen City councillor for Dyce, Danestone and Bucksburn from 2007 until 2012, has already notified the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer of his resignation as a list MSP.

An SNP spokesman said: “His seat will be taken by Christian Allard – a seafood exporter and part-time constituency assistant to Dennis Robertson MSP – who is expected to be sworn in this week.”

Following his nomination, Mr McDonald paid tribute to his ‘“friend and mentor” Brian Adam, and said his priority, if elected as MSP for Aberdeen Donside, would be to follow in his footsteps as a strong local voice.

He said: “Brian Adam was my friend, my colleague and my mentor – I owe a huge amount to him, and I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to continue his legacy of achievement for the people of Aberdeen Donside.

“One of the things Brian always said was never promise to do anything other than your best. I wholeheartedly make that pledge to the people of Aberdeen Donside, and if elected I will do my very best to live up to the outstanding representation they received from him.”

He added: “Brian Adam played a central role in the successful campaign to retain neuro-surgery and children’s specialist services at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and helped deliver millions more funding for the city. He was an outstanding politician, with a lifelong commitment to independence, and a true servant of the people.

“Over the next few weeks I intend to speak to as many residents of Aberdeen Donside as possible, and ask them to place their trust in me to stand up for them and be a strong local voice at Holyrood.”

Mr Adam won the seat at the 2011 Holyrood election with 55 per cent of the vote.

Labour has nominated local councillor Willie Young as its candidate while the Scottish Conservatives have appointed Tory councillor, Ross Thomson., to contest the seat. The other Party candidates already nominated are journalist Christine Jardine for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and Rhonda Reekie for the Greens.