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Ex-Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott to leave Holyrood

Scott was elected as Shetland's first MSP in 1999 and led his party between 2008 and 2011.

Tavish Scott: Leaving post after 20 years as MSP.
Tavish Scott: Leaving post after 20 years as MSP. STV

Tavish Scott, one of the country's longest-serving MSPs, is to leave Holyrood after representing Shetland for 20 years.

Scott was elected as part of the first intake of parliamentarians in 1999 following the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP - who led his party between 2008 and 2011 - will resign in July to take up a post at Scottish Rugby.

His departure will trigger the first ever Holyrood by-election in the Shetland Islands, and the first such by-election in Scotland since 2017.

Current Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie praised the outgoing MSP as a "loyal servant" of his constituents and his party.

Announcing his resignation, Scott said: "Representing the people of Shetland has been my life for 20 years.

"It has been an enormous privilege and honour to have been Shetland's MSP since the Scottish Parliament opened in 1999.

"I want to thank people the length and breadth of the islands for their support over the years.

"The bread and butter of representing people is helping solve problems and making their case to government, organisations and businesses.

"I have always enjoyed the challenge of serving Shetland and it is the part of the job that I will, without doubt, miss the most."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1416685-new-islands-law-backed-unanimously-in-holyrood-vote/ | default

He added: "On this, the 20th anniversary week of the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament, it is the right time for me to change direction.

"I am absolutely delighted to be joining Scottish Rugby at this incredibly exciting time for the sport in Scotland and across the world.

"To have the opportunity to work for Scottish Rugby is a huge challenge and one that I cannot wait to begin.

"I will miss the cut and thrust of politics and the people I have met and represented for 20 years, but there can be no better new beginning than working for Scottish Rugby."

Rennie said: "Tavish Scott has been a loyal servant of the Liberal Democrats and the people of Shetland as a parliamentarian, minister and leader.

"From the day the Scottish Parliament was re-established he has put the people of his constituency first and campaigned fiercely on their behalf.

"As a huge sports fan, this is an enormous opportunity for him. I will miss having him beside me in parliament but wish him all the best in his new role."

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