SNP MSP Alex Neil won’t seek Holyrood re-election

Airdrie and Shotts MSP says he wants to spend more time with his family and children after 21 years of service.

SNP MSP Alex Neil has announced he will not be seeking re-election at next year’s Scottish Parliament election.

Mr Neil, who has represented Airdrie and Shotts since 2011, posted a message on social media saying he owed it to his wife and family to spend more time with them.

He wrote: “I have two beautiful granddaughters who miss me when I am away so often on parliamentary and constituency business. I want to spend more time with them.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have been an MSP for the last 21 years, especially since 2011 when I became the constituency MSP for Airdrie and Shotts. The people in this constituency are great, despite the many challenges we face.”

Mr Neil said his priority in the final eight months of his term is to help tackle the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic in his constituency and to ensure that “the new Monklands Hospital will be located in one of the two shortlisted sites in Airdrie and not at Gartcosh”.

His announcement comes a day after Scotland’s environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said she had decided not to stand for re-election to parliament next year.

The long-standing SNP MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire was first elected to represent the area as an MP in 1995.

Several other SNP MSPs, including Constitution Secretary Mike Russell, Gail Ross and Bruce Crawford, have all confirmed they will be stepping down at the next election.

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