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by Jenni Davidson
08 September 2020
Maureen Watt to stand down as an MSP at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election

Maureen Watt - Image credit: Scottish Parliament YouTube

Maureen Watt to stand down as an MSP at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election

SNP MSP Maureen Watt has announced that she will be standing down as an MSP at next year’s Scottish Parliament election.

Watt was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2006 on the North East Scotland regional list after Richard Lochhead resigned his seat to contest the Moray by-election.

She became the MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine in 2011.

The Aberdeen MSP has held government positions as minister for schools, minister for public health and minister for mental health.

Commenting on her decision to stand down Watt said: “I love my job. Since spring 2006 it has been a huge privilege and a joy to represent the people in north-east Scotland and subsequently those in the constituency of Aberdeen South and North Kincardine.

“However, after months of deliberation and 15 years as MSP I have decided not to seek re-election next year.

“If re-elected, I would be nearly 75 by the end of the next term. The time is right for another woman to represent our wonderful part of the world on behalf of the SNP at Holyrood.

“I have had the honour of serving in all three SNP governments.

As minister for schools and skills I was able to embed the use of Gaelic, Scots and Doric in Curriculum for Excellence, ensuring the culture and history carried in our native languages is passed on to future generations.

“As minister for public health, amongst other achievements, I set up Food Standards Scotland with its headquarters in Aberdeen and launched the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest strategy, which has seen half a million Scots trained in CPR, thus saving many lives.

“Lastly, as the first ever dedicated minister for mental health, I introduced a 10-year mental health plan, securing parity of esteem between physical and mental health.

“For me, the most rewarding part of holding elected office has always been helping constituents and assisting the communities I serve to make their surroundings better places to live and work.

“The construction of key worker housing on the Craiginches prison site, the upgrading of Portlethen railway station and the eradication of the Torry ‘pong’ are just a few of my achievements for the constituency over the years.

“This progress would not have been possible without dedicated staff who have worked assiduously in pursuing a positive outcome on thousands of cases.

“I am incredibly thankful for their help and support over the years and proud that a good number have moved on to other prestigious posts, not least four to elected office themselves!”

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