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Lib-Dem choice as convener

The new convener of the Scottish Parliament's education committee seems likely to be the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Fife, Iain Smith, after the elevation of Robert Brown to the post of deputy Education Minister.

Members of the committee are to be asked to approve Mr Smith's appointment to the committee following the departure of his fellow Liberal Democrat colleague, Mr Brown.

Mr Smith would then be the only Liberal Democrat member of the committee and, as committee convenerships are divided up along political lines and education has been allocated to the Liberal Democrats, it is anticipated that he would be elected convener in early September after the summer recess.

Mr Smith was elected to the first Scottish Parliament in 1999 and was briefly a junior minister. Before becoming an MSP, he was a councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrats on Fife council. He was also constituency organiser for North East Fife Liberal Democrats and was the constituency agent for Sir Menzies Campbell, the local MP.

Mr Smith is convener of the Parliament's procedures committee and a member of the local government and transport committee.

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