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Watt is latest SNP MSP to leave Holyrood

Maureen Watt: ‘time is right’

SNP MSP Maureen Watt has become the latest to announce that she will not be seeking re-election at next year’s Scottish Parliament election.

The member for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine said she will be almost 75 by the end of the next parliament and it was time to hand over to someone else.

More than a dozen SNP MSPs have said they will not be contesting the 2021 election, including Cabinet members Michael Russell, Jeane Freeman, Aileen Campbell and Roseanna Cunningham.

In a statment, Ms Watt said: “I love my job. Since spring 2006 it has been a huge privilege and a joy to represent the people in North-East Scotland and subsequently those in the constituency of Aberdeen South and North Kincardine.

“However, after months of deliberation and 15 years as MSP I have decided not to seek re-election next year.

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“The time is right for another woman to represent our wonderful part of the world on behalf of the SNP at Holyrood.

“I have had the honour of serving in all three SNP Governments. As Minister for Schools and Skills I was able to embed the use of Gaelic, Scots and Doric in Curriculum for Excellence, ensuring the culture and history carried in our native languages is passed on to future generations.

“As Minister for Public Health, amongst other achievements, I set up Food Standards Scotland with its headquarters in Aberdeen and launched the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest strategy, which has seen half a million Scots trained in CPR thus saving many lives.

“As the first ever dedicated Minister for Mental Health, I introduced a 10-year mental health plan, securing parity of esteem between physical and mental health.”

Other SNP MSPs standing down:

Jeane Freeman (Health)

Mike Russell (Constitution)

Roseanna Cunningham (Environment)

Aileen Campbell (Communities)

Linda Fabiani (Dep presiding Officer)

Alex Neil (former Cabinet Minister)

Stewart Stevenson (former Transport and Environment minister)

Gil Paterson

Gail Ross

Bruce Crawford

Richard Lyle

Angus MacDonald

Sandra White



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