CONSERVATIVE MP Bill Grant has announced he will not run in the next General Election.

The 68-year-old politician said he had made the "difficult decision" after "much reflection".

He has now written to his local constituency association in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock to inform them he will be stepping down.

He said: "I have served my country in some form of public service for 53 years and to leave that service now when the country is facing such an enormous challenge has been difficult to consider.

"However, I have always maintained that I intended to serve one term only, albeit in this case it looks to be only two-and-a-half years rather than the anticipated five."

Grant won the seat in 2017 General Election when the Scottish Tories made gains under then-leader Ruth Davidson.

Recent polls have indicated they could lose a number of the Scottish constituencies they won two years ago.

Grant said he was " immensely proud and privileged" to have represented the area in the Commons.

He added: "I wish to thank all my constituents who supported me in 2017 and those who have in recent weeks indicated that they would support me in the forthcoming election, including a number from those who are not traditionally Conservative voters.

"To these people who had faith in me, a heartfelt thank you."

He wished the next MP for the area "the best of luck" as he vowed to stay involved in the local community "even if it is just to go back to the litter-picking".