Findhorn's Ariane Burgess says she has "big shoes to fill" as she is elected as a Green MSP
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NEWLY-elected Green MSP Ariane Burgess has said she has “big shoes to fill” as she takes on her role in Holyrood.
The Scottish Greens received 17,729 votes across the Highlands and Islands, which saw Ms Burgess – from Findhorn – elected from the top of the party’s regional list.
She will take over in Holyrood from John Finnie, who did not stand for re-election.
She said: “Scotland has more Green MSPs than ever before, and it is an enormous privilege that the people of the Highland and Islands elected me to be a part of this group.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the almost 18,000 voters who have put their faith in me, and to the volunteers and activists who worked tirelessly in very odd conditions to get our vote out.
“I have big shoes to fill. Our last Green MSP, John Finnie, left a lasting legacy on parliament and Scotland.
“John worked hard to ban the mechanical harvesting of kelp by dredging, stop ship-to-ship transfers in the Moray Firth and of course won equal protection from assault for Scotland’s children. I have no doubt that John’s hard work played a huge part in the Scottish Greens growing our vote in the region.”
While the environment is a priority, Ms Burgess hopes to show the Greens are not one trick ponies.
She added: “I’m determined that the Scottish Greens shake off the unfair label that we are focused on urban affairs.
“We desperately need better transport links to communities in Moray – and a major issue that needs addressed is land ownership.
“So much of the Highlands and Islands is in the hands of precious few people, and it is clear this leaves communities disempowered.”