Scotland’s environment secretary has decided not to stand for re-election to parliament next year.
Roseanna Cunningham took to social media to announce her decision to stand down before the vote in 2021.
The long-standing SNP MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, who was first elected to represent the area as an MP in 1995, said it has been a tough call.
In a statement released on Saturday Cunningham, who was also SNP depute leader between 2000-2004, said: “It has been a massive honour to represent my constituents in both Westminster and Scottish Parliament for 25 years and to be able to serve my country as a cabinet secretary in the Scottish Parliament.
“With another election fast approaching I have to do some hard thinking, by the time of the next election I will be two months away from my 70th birthday, and by the end of the next term I would be nearly 75.
“This year, of all years, has made age a 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 in the 2021 election.”
Nicola Sturgeon says Cunningham “will be missed” but will still “make a significant contribution on Scotland’s journey to independence.”
The First Minister said: “A quarter of a century of brilliant public service. Roseanna will be missed in both Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government. I’m certain she’ll continue to make a significant contribution on Scotland’s journey to independence.”