The Rt. Hon. Tricia Marwick, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, has announced she is standing down at next year’s election.
The the 62-year-old Nationalist MSP, who has represented the region since she was first elected as MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife in 1999, said she was convinced this is the right time to leave the Parliament and frontline politics.
“I have been active in politics since the mid 1980s and for some of that time held down a full time job, looked after my children as well as campaigning,” said Mrs Marwick.
“It is possible that the next parliamentary session will last for five years and, if so, I will be 67 when it ends.”
Having served in a number of SNP front-bench roles, and sat on several committees, she was elected in May 2011 to serve as the fourth Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the first woman to take on the prestigious role.
The MSP said it had been an honour to serve as the Presiding Officer.
“I never thought that when I became an MSP I would end up achieving that office,” she said.
“As the first woman Presiding Officer I hope that I have provided some inspiration to other women to follow in my footsteps.
“To be the Presiding Officer during the Referendum campaign was exciting and challenging and I have never been prouder as the people of Scotland turned out in their millions to have their say on our constitutional future.
“More needs to be done but I am pleased to have started the debate around elected conveners and what I believe to be essential committee and wider parliamentary reform.”
“It is been the greatest privilege to represent the constituency I live in and where I have brought up my family,” she said.
“I want to thank my constituents and friends for their unstinting support over the years, I am proud of what we have achieved together and that I have been able to help many thousands of people. “
The MSP overcame a cancer scare in 2013 which curtailed her work temporarily.
“When I was diagnosed with bowel cancer it made me realise I wasn’t invincible. The sad loss this session of four MSPs from the 1999 intake has affected me deeply. My health is good and I remain clear of cancer,” she added.
“However, my family have had to make many sacrifices over the years and I want to ensure that I can spend more time with them, particularly my two grandchildren.”