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‘Completely surreal situation’ to become an MSP so quickly – Roz McCall

Roz McCall took the oath on Tuesday (Scottish Parliament/PA)
Roz McCall took the oath on Tuesday (Scottish Parliament/PA)

Scotland’s newest MSP said it has been a “completely surreal” experience to have entered the Scottish Parliament so quickly.

Roz McCall formally joined the parliament on Tuesday, becoming the first MSP to be sworn in by pledging allegiance to King Charles III.

The Scottish Conservative list MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife is replacing Dean Lockhart, who resigned earlier this month.

She spoke to the PA news agency after giving her first parliamentary speech, paying tribute to the Queen during a special session in the debating chamber.

Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Normal business is resuming at Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)

The former councillor said she was “completely stunned” to receive the phone call from Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross telling her she would become an MSP.

She said: “I was sitting there watching the television, not paying the blindest bit of attention.

“And the phone went and it was Douglas Ross, just to talk to me and explain that Dean had resigned – he had another job to go to – and I was next on the list.

“So, completely surreal situation, where three weeks ago I was sitting in my slippers, and now I’m here.

“It’s very strange, it has to be said. But I’m glad to be here, it is the way the process works.”

She said she would focus on representing her region in parliament, saying her role is to “engage with as many people as I possibly can, find out what their issues are and do what I can to make their jobs and their lives easier”.

Being the first MSP to swear allegiance to the King also felt “surreal”, Ms McCall said.

The MSP continued: “It’s great to be just a little bit of history to be the first MSP to pledge allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, which was a lovely thing to do.

“Sorry for the circumstances, of course, but to be that first person was quite something.

“He’s (the King has) done a phenomenal job. He has been thrown in a situation that has been very difficult.”

She also paid tribute to the Queen, saying: “It’s a sad time, but I think we now need to look at what she did, how she did it and use her as an example.”

Earlier, Ms McCall formally became an MSP as business resumed at Holyrood. Normal meetings were suspended following the Queen’s death.

Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Parliamentary business is resuming on Tuesday (Jane Barlow/PA)

As part of the process of being sworn in, new MSPs must make an oath or affirmation pledging allegiance to the current monarch.

Taking the oath in front of Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone, Ms McCall swore to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors according to law”.

Normal business at the Scottish Parliament was suspended on Thursday September 8 following the death of the Queen.

It resumed on Tuesday with several sessions taking place in the debating chamber and committees.

Queen Elizabeth II death
The King spoke in the Scottish Parliament last week (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The King visited the Scottish Parliament for the first time as monarch on Monday September 12.

He paid tribute to his late mother during a special sitting of the parliament, quoting Robert Burns’ Epitaph on my own Friend.

The leaders of Holyrood’s political parties also gave speeches paying tribute to the Queen.