Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne is new Tory MSP
Borders Council Tory leader becomes new South of Scotland list MSP
Michelle Ballantyne - Scottish Borders Council
Conservative councillor Michelle Ballantyne has been installed as the new Conservative list MSP for the South of Scotland.
The move completes a merry-go-round initiated when the party’s chief whip John Lamont resigned his Ettrick, Roxburgh & Selkirkshire seat to contest the general election.
The party’s spokesperson on tourism and small business, Rachael Hamilton, then stepped down to fight the resultant by-election.
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If both Lamont and Hamilton lose the contests they will not return to the Scottish Parliament.
Ballantyne was leader of the opposition Conservative group on Scottish Borders Council in the last session.
She said she intended to resign as a councillor. "I will probably at some point have to resign my council seat," she said.
"There is a general view that holding two for long periods of time is not appropriate."
Ballantyne contested the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale seat at the Holyrood election last year, but was beaten by incumbent Christine Grahame of the SNP
She is thought to have been an advocate of Brexit.
Scottish Parliament officials have announced the by-election will be held on August 29
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