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MSP Roseanna Cunningham has announced she will stand down from parliament at the next election in 2021.
“It has been a massive honour to have represented my constituents in both Westminster and the Scottish Parliament for the past 25 years and to have been able to serve my country as a Cabinet Secretary in the Scottish Government.
“I have always been hugely grateful to all those who have put their faith in me. In the first instance, the local members of the SNP for selecting me as their candidate and working so hard during and between election campaigns but, above all, the voters of the constituencies I have represented through various boundary changes for voting for me and the party.
“In doing so, they made history by making Perth & Kinross the first seat that the SNP would win at a by-election and hold at the subsequent by-election, and they ensured that I became the longest-serving current Scottish parliamentarian.
“The support of one’s constituents is not only essential for political success, it is immensely humbling and I am very thankful for it.
“It has been a great privilege, too, to have been in government since 2009 – and in 3 different portfolios – first as Environment Minister, then Community Safety Minister, then in Cabinet as Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills & Training and then back to my original portfolio but this time as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform.
“After a quarter of a century as an elected politician, and with another election fast approaching, I have had to do some hard thinking. By the time of the next election I will be less than two months away from my 70th birthday and, further, by the end of that parliamentary term I would be nearly 75. This year, of all years, has made age a rather more relevant factor than it may otherwise have been.
“I have, accordingly, taken the very difficult decision to inform my local Constituency Association that I will not be seeking nomination as an SNP candidate for the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.”