A FORMER member of the European Parliament has been elected as the leader of the Aberdeen SNP council group.

Christian Allard’s appointment was announced on Tuesday evening by Aberdeen SNP.

The new group leader will be supported by Miranda Radley who was re-elected as the group depute leader, and newly elected group convener Alex McLellan.

It is expected Councillor Allard will be nominated as council co-leader at an urgent business committee next week. LibDems, who are in coalition with SNP in the council's administration, have welcomed his appointment and say they look forward to working with him.

Councillor Allard has represented the Torry and Ferryhill ward on Aberdeen City Council since 2017, and has served as the convener of the Anti-Poverty and Inequality Committee since its establishment last year.

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Born in Dijon, France, Allard moved to Aberdeen several decades ago to work in the fishing industry.

Prior to his election to council, Councillor Allard represented North East Scotland in the Scottish Parliament from 2013 until 2016. He also represented Scotland in the European Parliament from July 2019 until the UK’s exit from the EU in January 2020.

Councillor Allard has pledged to continue the council’s focus on tacking poverty and establishing Aberdeen as the Net Zero Capital of the world.

In a statement, Allard said: 'I am delighted that my colleagues have put their faith in me to lead them, this partnership and this council forward.

“As we face the many difficult challenges ahead, I will remain focused on what I believe are the greatest of these, tackling poverty and establishing our city as a world leader in the fight against climate change.

“I am determined to build a more prosperous and fairer future for everyone in our city, and to make Aberdeen a better place to live, work and grow up."

It comes after former SNP group leader Alex Nicoll announced he was to step down.