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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 16:01 GMT
New MSP takes up Holyrood place
Andrew Arbuckle
Andrew Arbuckle replaced Keith Raffan in parliament
Scotland's newest MSP has been formally sworn in at Holyrood.

Andrew Arbuckle, 60, replaces his Liberal Democrat colleague Keith Raffan who resigned last week citing health reasons.

The new list member for Mid-Scotland and Fife, a Fife councillor since 1986, took his place in parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Raffan was elected via the top-up list system so a by-election was not needed to choose his successor.

Mr Arbuckle stood as a list candidate for the Lib Dems in 1999 and 2003 and was placed directly below Mr Raffan and therefore was his immediate replacement within their party.

One of the things that MSPs have to do is to prove that they are value for money
Andrew Arbuckle

He described his move into the Scottish Parliament as "a great and unexpected honour".

He added: "I believe there is a still a lot of work to be done making the Scottish Parliament acceptable and accepted and for MSPs to prove their worth.

"One of the things that MSPs have to do is to prove that they are value for money.

"With my farming background one of my ambitions as an MSP will be to ensure that our rural areas are treated fairly."

Mr Arbuckle is the agricultural editor of The Courier & Advertiser in Dundee and a former Fife and Kinross area president of the National Farmers' Union in Scotland.

He was also once Scottish pole-vaulting champion.

Mr Raffan, who is believed to suffer from a back problem, announced he was standing down due to "continuing ill-health" last Friday.

The 55-year-old said doctors had been advising him to quit for more than a year and that some months ago he told Mr Arbuckle he was unlikely to serve the full term to 2007.

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