Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 10:50 UK

Brigadier is new prison inspector

Brigadier Hugh Monro
Brig Monro served with the Army for 36 years

A former Army brigadier has been confirmed as Scotland's new chief inspector of prisons.

Brigadier Hugh Monro served in the Army for 36 years before retiring in 2008.

His final posting had been as the deputy commanding general of the multi national security transition command in Iraq.

Brig Monro, who replaces Dr Andrew McLellan, will take up his new duties on Tuesday and will serve for a fixed term of four years.

Brig Monro said: "I am extremely honoured to have been appointed as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland.

"Dr Andrew McLellan and his excellent team have given a great lead and set high standards of inspection and reporting over the past seven years. I will try to maintain this fine example.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of providing independent assurance that Scotland's prisons meet the international standards for humane treatment of prisoners."

'Challenging role'

The announcement of Brig Monro's appointment was made by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

"Brig Monro has served his country with distinction for many years," Mr MacAskill said.

"I have no doubt that he is more than capable of taking on the challenging role of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, leading the inspectorate responsible for ensuring that Scotland's prison estate remains a safe environment for staff and prisoners alike."

Brig Monro is the son of the late Lord Monro of Langholm and Westerkirk, who was one of Scotland's longest-serving Tory MPs.

He was commissioned to the Queen's Own Highlanders in 1972, and commanded the 52nd Lowland Brigade, based in Edinburgh Castle, from 1998 to 2001.

During that time he led the operation to eradicate foot and mouth disease in southern Scotland, which was successfully completed in only six weeks.

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