NEW SNP MEP Christian Allard delivered his maiden speech in the European Parliament last night, urging colleagues to help Scotland "stay in the heart of Europe".

Allard, a former MSP and current Aberdeen councillor, is a French citizen who raised his family in the North East where he worked in the fishing industry.

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He delivered the speech in French, saying he is 100% Scottish, French and European. 

He said: "Thank you very much for helping me to be able to speak to the parliament and thank you for giving the floor to a newly elected representative unlike any other.

"I am a French citizen representing Scotland in Europe. I was a member of the Scottish Parliament, I am now here as a result of Brexit and to show you our attachment to Europe.

"Twenty years ago I voted for the Scottish Parliament to be reconvened after a 300 year break. A parliament that has been able to sit thanks to the European Union.

"You helped us, you did not forget us. And in 2016, 62% of the Scottish electorate voted to stay in Europe. Now 62% is a signal that we are one of Europe most European countries.

"And I think that is down to the fact that in Scotland we are used to have multiple identities. I am 100% Scottish, I am 100% French and 100% European.

"Our idea of Europe is one we share with you, we want freedom of movement for people and goods and we have common values. We are prepared to defend Europe. Help us to stay at the heart of Europe, help us so that we can better help you."

Watch the full speech below.