Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie McGrigor has announced that he is to retire at the 2016 Holyrood election.
Mr McGrigor is one of the few remaining MSPs who has served continuously since the Scottish Parliament was set up in 1999.
“After 16 years in the Scottish Parliament, I have reached retirement age,” he said, “and think it is now appropriate time to stand aside, especially as we have some young, very talented candidates in the Highlands and Islands region.
“I will be sad to go as serving as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands has been the privilege of a lifetime. I shall treasure many memories of people, places and events. Much has changed since I first took my seat in 1999, but the essentials remain the same.
“Politicians should always seek to represent the views and the feelings of their constituents, and I have always sought to bring the Highlands & Islands viewpoint to Edinburgh in everything I do.
“I intend to keep representing Highland and Island views right up until my retirement next year, so that the Scottish Conservatives return their best election ever.
“Now more than ever, the Scottish Conservative voice needs to be heard, right across Scotland. After 17 years in the Parliament I am seeking new challenges where the knowledge and experience I have gained can be put to good purpose.”
Mr McGrigor, who lives in Argyll, is currently his party’s on the environment, fisheries, climate change, Europe and external affairs.