5th Scottish Conservative MSP stands down for 2016

The steady progression of Scottish Conservative MSPs announcing that they have decided to stand down at the coming Scottish Elections in May 2016 is the clearest evidence of serious reorganisation of the Holyrood party for the fight that is coming in those elections – and to put steam in the boiler of what is already shaping up to be the effective opposition to the uber-supremacy of the SNP.

Ruth Davidson is certainly getting the preparation for the future of the party well in hand.

Those standing down are nationally known names, who have carried senior roles in opposition at Holyrood and in public life.

They are – in order of announcement to date:

  • Gavin Brown [announcement 11th June]  – Lothians MSP and Finance spokesperson, who said: ‘ I will have served nine years by 2016 and would like to seek a fresh challenge going forward’. He is standing down with immediate effect as Finance spokesperson, obviously to give a possible successor time to bed in to the job. At 40 and as an effective Finance Spokesperson for his party, Mr Brown clearly has places to go.
  • Nanette Milne [announcement 16th June] – North East MSP and Public Health Spokeswoman, who said: ‘As an MSP over the last 12 years, I am most proud of my behind-the-scenes work which I have undertaken as an MSP on behalf of my constituents.’ At 73 Ms Milne clearly understands the need now to bring on new blood.
  • Alex Fergusson [announcement 16th June] – Galloway and West Dumfries MSP and former Presiding Officer [the third] for four years from 2007-2011 who has served in the Scottish Parliament since its creation in 1999 and who said: ‘Someone once said that a week is a long time in politics, but I have to say that the last 17 years have simply flown by.’ At 66, the spectrum of his political career makes an interesting record.
  • Mary Scanlon [announcement 23rd June] – Highlands and Islands MSP and Education and Lifelong Learning Spokeswoman and Deputy Convener of the Public Audit Committee, who says: ‘I am proud of my working class background.  My father was a farm worker and instilled in us an ethic of hard work.  Having left school at 15, I attended evening classes to gain qualifications to get into University as a mature student.’ At 68 and an MSP since 1999, she has previously held shadow posts for her party in Health and in Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.
  • Cameron Buchanan [announcement 1st July] –  Edinburgh and Lothians MSP and Local Government Spokesman, who said: ‘There’s a lot of new blood in the party and a new talent waiting in the wings, so it’s time to give others a chance. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my family – if they’ll have me.’ At 69 and Honorary Consul for Iceland from 1992 to 2012, Mr Buchanan has been an MSP only since 2013, standing for his party to fill the gap left by the sudden death of former Scottish Conservative Leader, David McLetchie.
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Related Articles & Comments

  • Forgetting someone? The lovely Baroness Goldie, someone who I have found to be, by far, the hardest working and most prepared to listen MSP I have been in contact with.

    Her presence at Holyrood will be sorely missed, but her decision is understandable.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

    JB July 1, 2015 11:43 pm Reply
    • Agree that Annabel Goldie was good for democracy in Scotland, a fair minded person, and an asset to the Hollyrood parliament. Best wishes to her. Never been Tory minded but she was very straight to the point, and i enjoyed her skill in the debates.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      phill July 4, 2015 10:33 am Reply
  • The spin here is hilarious. If the SNP (or, I suspect, Labour) had this many senior figures standing down the talk would be of splits and crises of leadership.

    To me it looks like they’re jumping before they get pushed.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

    Arethosemyfeet July 2, 2015 8:49 am Reply
  • Rats ship deserting sinking a

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

    Simon July 2, 2015 1:24 pm Reply
  • How may seats does the luvie brigade think the tories will lose next year. I smiled when 2 of the persons named above I had never heard of. So effective. Now we see the great Baronees give up democracy as an unelected peer to decide with all the other unelected peers many of whom are defeated labour and liberal democrats to decide on the various bills on Scotland. Democracy isn’t it great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    No Cheese Here July 4, 2015 10:12 am Reply
    • Democracy is generally considered the fairest system of managing ourselves without tyranny, but it’s so far from perfect that some way of putting a brake on the dafter and more impulsive actions of our elected representatives is surely essential, and while the House of Lords is far from perfect it’s a great deal better than nothing.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Robert Wakeham July 4, 2015 1:05 pm Reply
      • To put a damper on our elected representatives is called an election not the unelected house of cadavers.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        No Cheese Here July 4, 2015 8:46 pm Reply
  • http://www.thenational.scot/comment/controversy-shouldnt-overshadow-the-good-things-about-argyll-and-bute.4805
    Ellen Morton with her rose coloured…..oops blue coloured view of Argyll and Bute. One can only assume Walsh is unable to write a letter. Maybe she is holding him captive!!!?
    McQueen your boy is missing!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    No Cheese Here July 4, 2015 12:10 pm Reply

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