Scotland politics

Aberdeen Depute Provost to become dual-role Tory MSP

Ross Thomson and Tom Mason Image copyright Ross Thomson
Image caption Tom Mason (right) is taking up the Holyrood seat vacated by Ross Thomson (left)

Aberdeen City Council Depute Provost Tom Mason is to take up a seat at Holyrood as an MSP.

The Tories have a vacancy on their North East list after Ross Thomson was elected to Westminster in Aberdeen South in the snap election.

Mr Mason, who will be sworn in on 20 June, said he was "honoured" to have been offered the regional list seat.

He is to stay on as a city councillor, but will donate his salary to two local charities.

The vacancy was triggered by the resignation of Ross Thomson, one of three Tory MSPs to win a place at Westminster in the snap election on 8 June.

Dual roles

Mr Mason was elected to the Midstocket and Rosemount ward of the city council in May, and became deputy provost after the Tories and Aberdeen Labour agreed a controversial coalition deal.

He said he would continue to serve as a councillor, while donating his salary to charity.

He said: "It is not the first time that MSPs have held dual roles. In addition to Ross Thomson in the last council term, the SNP's Kevin Stewart and Mark McDonald both served as councillors and MSPs.

"Representing Rosemount & Midstocket is very important to me and I shall do my utmost in my new role to serve both my council ward and the greater North East region."

However, Mr McDonald, now an education minister, said he had only served as a dual-role member for one year, saying that was "tough" and adding that he was "not sure how Tom expects to be able to do it for four".

Mr Mason is the final name on the Tories' North East list, with all other candidates having been elected either to Westminster or Holyrood, or, in one case, quit the party. This means should the party lose any of the sitting list MSPs from the region for any reason, the seat would be left empty.

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