Leader to seek Holyrood role
Matheson to step down at Glasgow council
His decision was not unexpected following his declared ambitions to seek other political offices.
However, he failed to secure the deputy leadership of Scottish Labour which would have guaranteed him a place on the Labour regional list and a seat at Holyrood.
Mr Matheson, who will consider last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as a highlight of his career. However, his decision to relinquish the post comes just a week after Labour suffered heavy defeats in four by-elections on Glasgow, with massive swings to the SNP, including in Mr Matheson’s own ward.
He said: “The decision I have announced today was made by me some weeks ago. By confirming the date, the process can begin to effect a smooth transition to a new leader in time for the next meeting of the full council.
“Being leader of the city I love has been the greatest honour of my life. It is not a job for the faint hearted, especially given the budget cuts we have had to contend with, but I would not have missed this experience for the world.”
Mr Matheson was first elected to the city council in 1999 and will remain as ward councillor for Anderston until 2017.
Frontrunners to replace him include Frank McAveety and Stephen Curran