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Journalist chosen as new university rector

Scottish political journalist Iain Macwhirter has been elected as the 50th rector of the University of Edinburgh.

He received 4,822 votes, a 69pc share, to beat his only other competitor Labour MSP George Foulkes.

Iain, who writes for Glasgow titles The Herald and Sunday Herald, said: “I am delighted that the students and staff of Edinburgh University have chosen me to be their rector.

“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to take an active involvement in the University and look to ensure the interests of both staff and students are maintained.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank George Foulkes for running an excellent campaign and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

The rector chairs the University Court, which is the governing body, and represents students and staff.

The election takes place every three years and previous holders of the post include Winston Churchill, Gordon Brown, Sir Alexander Fleming and former Mastermind presenter Magnus Magnusson.

This year marks the 150th anniversary since former Prime Minister William Gladstone became the first rector after the role was established by an 1858 Act of Parliament.

The current rector is the former Green MSP Mark Ballard. A brief video interview with Iain, who will be installed next month, has been posted on the university’s website.