BORDERS-BASED MSP Michelle Ballantyne has been announced as the leader of Reform UK Scotland.

The South of Scotland MSP quit the Scottish Conservatives in late November last year, stating that the party was no longer “a good fit” for her.

Today (January 11), Ms Ballantyne has been announced as the Scottish leader of Reform UK – a relaunch of the Brexit Party founded by Nigel Farage.

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The Herald reports that Ms Ballantyne, a former Selkirkshire councillor, said this morning: “We are pro-Scotland and pro the UK because we believe it is simply the best choice for the people of these islands.

"Why? Because it is the most successful union ever created. It has served us well for over 300 years and never so well as in the last few months as the combined power of the Union has brought us financial aid and the first and fastest vaccination programme in Europe."

In a welcome message posted on Twitter, Mr Farage said: “We don’t have enough debate. Now, of course in Scotland there is a debate between those that want to separate from the United Kingdom and be part of the European Union and those who want the Union to survive.

“But on virtually everything else, debate has ceased. There is no opposition coming from the Scottish Conservatives or anybody else to the SNP’s woke agenda.

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“Well somebody who is willing to stand up, quite fearlessly, and have open, genuine democratic debate and conversation is Michelle Ballantyne.

“She is prepared to stand up and fight. I’m delighted that she’s coming on board and I’m hoping she’ll spearhead the campaign for the Scottish Parliament this year, although I don’t really think those elections are going to happen.

“There’s now going to be a voice in Scottish Parliament that’s going to stand up and say ‘hang on, let’s think about this’.”