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Brian Monteith Joins The Policy Institute 30/05/2007

FORMER MSP Brian Monteith is to join the Policy Institute, Scotland's leading free-market think tank, as its Research Director.

Monteith, a former Conservative and independent MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, will take up the post from the 1st June, acting as spokesman for the institute and advising on strategy and policy research, specialising in public service reform, governance and the economy.

Monteith said: "I've always been a liberal, in the classical sense of the word. It was my belief in individual freedom and responsibility that lead me to join the Conservatives in the first place, as the closest party in the 70s to the liberal tradition.

"But politics involves compromise and now I've left Parliament I can explore how liberal principles can be applied across all parties to ensure more freedom in modern Scotland. That's why I've joined the Policy Institute. Since devolution it has been pre-eminent in proposing the classical liberal solutions of free markets, consumer choice and limited government in Scotland.

"There's a lot of work to be done, since Scotland has lost its way since it pioneered these ideas in eighteenth and nineteenth Centuries. We're too wedded to government as an answer to our problems the whole time. But the Policy Institute has made a brave start in championing enlightened ideas, and I want to help it as best I can."

Tom Miers, Executive Director of the Policy Institute, said: "We’re delighted to have Brian on board. He’s one of Scotland’s most powerful advocates of liberal market principles. He fought bravely to promote these from within the political system and now he’ll be a great help in building a much broader public awareness of the benefits that a liberal approach can bring”

Monteith was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 where he was a former Conservative spokesman on finance, local government and public services and was Convener of the Scottish Parliament's powerful Audit Committee from 2003 to 2007. In 2005 he resigned from the Conservatives and remained as an independent until retiring in April 2007.
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