Presiding officer Ken Macintosh to stand down at Scottish election
Ken Macintosh, the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, is to step down at the Scottish election after more than two decades as an MSP.
The former Scottish Labour MSP was first elected in 1999 and was made presiding officer in 2016.
He told constituents: “It has been an honour to represent the people of East Renfrewshire and the West of Scotland for the last two decades and I would thank you for the trust you have placed in me”.
Macintosh was the Labour MSP for Eastwood from 1999 until the 2016 election, when he was returned as a list member for West Scotland.
MSPs voted to make him the presiding officer following that election.
He wrote in a letter to his constituents: “After much reflection, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Scottish Parliament in May next year.
“It has been an honour to represent the people of East Renfrewshire and the West of Scotland for the last two decades and I would thank you for the trust you have placed in me.”
“The Scottish Parliament has delivered so much since 1999 and has grown in confidence and maturity, but there are clearly many challenges which lie ahead.
“The privilege of being Presiding Officer in this, my now final, term is something I will never forget and I will continue to do what I can to support the Parliament and the hopes and ambitions it sustains for our democracy.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Ken has been a great servant of the Scottish Labour Party, the parliament and most important of all, the people.
"An ardent supporter of devolution, and a member of the parliament since 1999 his unstinting efforts as a Labour front bencher and over the last four years as the presiding officer have consistently made the case for the parliament as a power for change.
“He is a kind and decent man with a strong sense of his own values. The Scottish Labour Party wishes him, Claire and the family well.”