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Sandra White to stand down at the 2021 Holyrood election

Sandra White MSP - Image credit: Sandra White MSP

Sandra White to stand down at the 2021 Holyrood election

Sandra White has announced she will stand down at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election after 22 years as an MSP.

White was elected in 1999 on the Glasgow regional list and continued to represent Glasgow on the regional list until 2007.

In 2007 she won the seat of Glasgow Kelvin from Labour’s Pauline McNeill and has represented that constituency since then.

Prior to her election to the Scottish Parliament, White was an SNP councillor on Renfrewshire Council for 10 years.

Among the areas White has been involved in during her time in parliament are issues relating to older people, social security, car parking, Palestine and Catalonia.

White said it had been the “privilege and the honour” of her life to represent Glasgow and promised to continue campaigning for independence.

The Glasgow Kelvin MSP is the 13th SNP MSP to announce she is standing down at the Holyrood election and the 24th across all parties.

Earlier this week health secretary Jeane Freeman announced that she will not seek re-election in 2021.

Her fellow cabinet members Roseanna Cunningham and Mike Russell are also standing down.

Commenting on her decision White said: “I have been involved in frontline politics for the majority of my life, spending over three decades as an elected representative.

“I first became involved to fight for social justice and equality for all.

“I would like to hope that my contribution over these many years has delivered an improvement to people’s lives both locally and further afield.

“It has been both a privilege and the honour of my life to represent the city that I grew up in, helping to shape a better future for the people who have been Glaswegians their whole lives and for those who have chosen to make Glasgow their home.

“Having been elected to all five sessions of our Parliament since it’s reconvening in 1999, this has given me the opportunity to sit on almost every committee either as an ordinary member, deputy convener or convener.

“Highlights have definitely included my election as the convener of the Social Security Committee, which allowed me to oversee the creation of our own system, shaped to fit the needs of the people of Scotland while ensuring it had dignity and respect at its heart.

“The single greatest piece of work I directly oversaw was without doubt the Responsible Parking Bill, which was adopted by the government into their recent Transport Bill.

“This change in the law will have a direct impact in Glasgow Kelvin and across Scotland, making our streets safer for all.

“I would like to, once again, thank everyone involved in this process, with a special note to everyone at Guide Dogs for the Blind for the power of work they put in.

“When looking outwith my direct responsibilities in committees or the chamber, there have been several cross-party groups (CPG) that have been my passions over these many years.

“They have ranged from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Cuba; Older People, Age and Ageing; and of course, Palestine.

“From founding the CPG on Older People, to now having a minister for older people, this is something I am immensely proud of and demonstrates the many avenues open to both MSPs but also the public in effecting change via our parliament.

“My work in supporting the Palestinian people has been one of the most challenging aspects of my time as an MSP but it has also without doubt been one of the most rewarding.

“The people of Palestine are very close to my heart and their international fight for justice continues.

“I can confirm this is one cause that I will not be stepping back from.

“Despite my departure from official politics, I will most certainly be continuing my support for the Palestinian people and other international causes where people face oppression and seek social justice – such as in Catalunya.”

White thanked her family, friends, staff and local activists for their support during her time in parliament and said she would continue to be active in Glasgow Kelvin in working towards independence, which she hoped to see in her lifetime.

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