Scotland politics

MSP Christian Allard launches French connection in pro-Oui campaign

A French-born MSP wants to strengthen the Auld Alliance by attracting French-Scots and Scottish francophiles to the independence debate.

Christian Allard became the SNP MSP for North East Scotland in May after Mark Macdonald stood down to fight the by-election in Aberdeen Donside.

Mr Allard has now launched the "French for Yes" campaign group.

The 49-year-old moved to Scotland more than 25 years ago to open an office with a European seafood transport firm.

Mr Allard, originally from Dijon, joined the SNP almost 10 years ago after forming his view on independence from experiences in the fishing industry.

He said: "The group is for all French-speaking people living in Scotland and for people with an interest in the many links between our two great nations to express their views on voting Yes in 2014.

"The future of Scotland is in the hands of all the people living in Scotland. French citizens and French speakers will have the opportunity to contribute to Scotland becoming a better nation in 2014 and for "L'Ecosse" to join the rest of the world.

He added: "Working in the fishing industry for the last 28 years and living in Glasgow and Aberdeen, I quickly understood that Westminster is not working for Scotland and that the inequalities in this prosperous nation need to be addressed.'

Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland chief executive, said: "New Scots have a crucial role to play in shaping the kind of Scotland we all want to see. French for Yes are the latest group to join our ever-growing campaign and I look forward to them contributing to the debate."

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