Who is Tim Eagle? Meet Scotland's newest Conservative MSP representing the Highlands and Islands

Tim Eagle is due to be officially sworn in as an MSP following the resignation of Donald Cameron

Scotland’s newest MSP says the SNP doesn’t understand the “entire way of life” in the Highlands and Islands.

Tim Eagle is due to be officially sworn in as a Scottish Conservative MSP on Tuesday following the resignation of Donald Cameron.

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The former Moray councillor said he was “excited and honoured” to start his new job in Holyrood, and has vowed to “hold Humza Yousaf’s feet to the fire” on a series of rural issues, including the ongoing ferries fiasco and the dualling of the A9 and A96.

Tim Eagle MSPTim Eagle MSP
Tim Eagle MSP

Mr Eagle told The Scotsman: “I’m really excited and honoured to be given the chance to serve the Highlands and Islands at Holyrood. As a former councillor and party group leader, but also as someone who works the land, I know the north of Scotland very well.

“I understand the challenges faced by residents here, but also the opportunities which are in reach. The SNP-Green Government’s obsession with the Central Belt has been to the detriment of everyone.

“It’s not just the rural economy they don’t understand, it’s an entire way of life. Scotland deserves a government that puts the prosperity of its citizens first rather than endlessly obsessing over independence.

“Whether it’s withheld farm funding, missing ferries, the calamity of the A9 and A96, or the centralisation of health services, I join a Scottish Conservative team at Holyrood who will continue to hold Humza Yousaf’s feet to the fire for all these failures.”

Mr Eagle lives in Forres with his sons and wife and is the former leader of Moray Council. He had represented Buckie at Moray Council from 2017 until the 2022 local elections, where he stepped down due to the negative impact social media was having on his family life.

Mr Eagle had attempted a comeback by standing unsuccessfully in the 2022 Buckie by-election, where he lost out to the SNP.

His elevations comes after Mr Cameron resigned as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands to take up a position in the House of Lords.

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Mr Cameron, who had served as an MSP since 2016, has already been officially conferred a life peerage by King Charles III and will become a parliamentary undersecretary of state in the Scotland Office.

Mr Eagle takes up this position despite not having won a by-election. This is because of a peculiar Holyrood process – in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Mr Eagle was on the Highlands and Islands regional list vote.

In the regional ballot, people vote for a party rather than an individual candidate. Using proportional representation, the parties are then allocated a number of seats depending on how many votes they receive, once the number of constituency seats already won in that region is taken into account.

In 2021 the Conservatives won four seats, which were taken by the first four people on the list – Mr Cameron, party leader Douglas Ross, Edward Mountain and Jamie Halcro Johnston.

Mr Eagle was fifth on the list and therefore missed out on a seat. However, following the resignation of Mr Cameron, as the next person on the regional list from 2021, the seat was Mr Eagle’s for the taking.



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