THE Scottish Conservatives have appointed a new MSP after one of their representatives quit Holyrood.

Dean Lockhart, who was elected as an MSP from the Mid Scotland and Fife list in 2021, has stepped down from the Scottish Parliament.

He will be replaced by Roz McCall, a former Scottish Tory councillor in Perth and Kinross who stepped down at the 2022 local elections.

McCall also stood for the Tories in Dunfermline at the 2021 Holyrood elections, but failed to win a seat. She won 6314 votes, coming behind Labour’s Julie MacDougall on 11,384 and SNP minister Shirley-Anne Somerville who won 20,048 votes.

At the 2021 vote, the Tories returned 31 MSPs. The new appointment means that number will hold steady, with no by-election being held.

McCall said: “I am delighted and honoured to join the Scottish Conservative MSPs in Holyrood.

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“As an MSP I will work to reverse the erosion of local democracy, to hold the SNP government to account, and to provide alternative, new and imaginative, positive policies to benefit the people of Mid Scotland and Fife, and Scotland as a whole.”

McCall's arrival follows the usual procedure when a list MSP steps down.

The National: Dean Lockhart MSP

Lockhart (above), who has served as an MSP since 2016, has left to pursue a career in the private sector. The Scottish Tories said he would be working “with a UK-based business organisation that works with governments, local authorities and third sector bodies to deliver net-zero targets”.

Lockhart said: “It has been an absolute privilege to represent the people and region of Mid Scotland and Fife over the past six years.

“Given the vital importance of addressing climate change and delivering on net zero targets, I have decided to accept an offer to join a business organisation that works together with governments, local authorities and third sector bodies, and that will help finance and deliver net-zero targets across the UK.

“I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Douglas Ross for his outstanding leadership and support, and to wish him and all my colleagues all the very best for the future.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ross said: “I would like to thank Dean for his sterling work in the parliament, and wish him well in his new venture, where he will continue his work in tackling the challenges of climate change.

“I look forward to working with Roz, who will now continue her long-standing efforts to deliver real improvements in people’s daily lives from Holyrood.

“Like the rest of the Scottish Conservative group, she will work tirelessly to hold this SNP administration to account and focus on the real priorities of Scotland’s people.”