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North Labour MSP David Stewart has said a fond farewell to ‘the best job in Scotland’ ahead of his retirement from the Scottish Parliament at the May election.
One of a small band of Scottish politicians who have served as a councillor, an MP and an MSP, Mr Stewart became the first Labour MP to represent the previous constituency of Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber in 1997, doubling his majority in 2001 before losing his seat to Lib-Dem Danny Alexander in 2005.
He re-entered politics in 2007 as a Highlands and Islands Labour MSP on the regional list and was elected for a further two terms, the latest ending at the election.
During a speech on Scotland’s recovery through a Highlands and Islands lens last week, the MSP for Highlands and Islands told his colleagues: ‘This will be my final speech in Parliament after 14 years of service as an MSP. I am conscious some members will react with relief on this news, but I have a sense of sadness, humility and pride and a sense of loss in leaving the best job in Scotland – representing my home and birthplace – the Highlands and Islands.’
The retiring MSP, perhaps best known for his award-winning campaigning work on road safety, initially became involved in fighting for a Graduated Driving Licence for young drivers.
Bringing his speech to a close, Mr Stewart thanked his wife Linda, his son Andrew and his daughter Kirsty for their ‘unwavering support’.