Linda Fabiani to stand down as an MSP at Holyrood election
Linda Fabiani has announced that she will not stand for re-election at next year’s Holyrood election.
The SNP MSP for East Kilbride and deputy presiding officer has been an MSP since 1999.
Born in Glasgow, Fabiani joined the SNP in 1990 while living on the Isle of Bute.
She was elected as an MSP in 1999, serving three terms as a regional list MSP for Central Scotland before winning the East Kilbride constituency in 2016.
In the early years of the parliament Fabiani was a member of the cross-party Holyrood Progress Group, which oversaw the construction of the Scottish Parliament building.
After the 2003 election, she became the SNP's deputy spokesperson for communities and chaired the European and External Relations Committee.
From 2007 to 2009 Fabiani served as minister for Europe, external affairs and culture in the first SNP government.
She chaired the Scotland Bill Committee that followed the report of the Calman Commission, which saw more powers transfer to Holyrood through the Scotland Act 2012.
After the 2014 independence referendum she was one of two SNP representatives on the Smith Commission, which brought more powers to Holyrood under the Scotland Act 2016.
Fabiani was elected as a deputy presiding officer of the parliament in 2016.
She also currently convenes the Committee on Scottish Government’s Handling of Harassment Complaints, which is looking into the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against former first minister Alex Salmond.
From an Italian-Scottish background, in 2007 Fabiani was made a knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity by Italy in recognition of her work promoting links between Scotland and Italy.
Fabiani said: “I’ve been so privileged to serve in Scotland’s democratically elected parliament since it was reconvened in 1999.
“By the next election I will have served for more than 20 years but I’ll be 65 in 2021 and I feel I cannot make another five-year commitment.
“There are many people in the SNP with great energy and commitment. I am happy to step aside and let others take up the challenge and to deliver independence.”
Fabiani said that her big regret was not achieving independence in the 2014 referendum.
She said: “For decades, even before joining the SNP, I believed Scotland – like other small and successful nations – should make its own decisions.
“As with so many dedicated activists I’ll never stop campaigning for independence.
“Everyone who believes Scotland has the right to determine its own future has a role to play in making that happen.”
Fabiani said she was looking forward to having more time for travel and seeing family and friends overseas as well as at home.
She pledged to keep fighting against injustice some of my international work and campaigning for independence.