Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

By-election figure to become MSP

Anne McLaughlin
Anne McLaughlin paid tribute to Mr Ahmad

One of the key figures in the SNP's Glasgow East Westminster by-election victory is to become an MSP, following the death of Bashir Ahmad.

Anne McLaughlin, who co-ordinated the campaign, is expected to be sworn in as a Glasgow list MSP at Holyrood on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a book of condolence for Mr Ahmad, who was the first Asian MSP, is being opened at parliament.

The 68-year-old's funeral was held at Glasgow's Central Mosque on Saturday.

About 1,000 people, including figures from across the political spectrum, turned out to pay their respects.

Ms McLaughlin, who is on the SNP's Glasgow regional list, will replace Mr Ahmad without the need for a by-election.

The 42-year-old, who currently works as a researcher for Glasgow Nationalist MSP Bob Doris, said she would miss Mr Ahmad deeply.

She added: "This is not the circumstances in which I would wish to enter parliament, however, it will be an honour to serve the people of Glasgow as their MSP and one I hope I will fulfil with the same warmth and humanity that Bashir brought to the job."

The SNP won one of Labour's safest Scottish seats when John Mason took the Glasgow East by-election by 365 votes, overturning a Labour majority of 13,507.

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