A LONG-SERVING SNP MSP is to step down after working in the Scottish Parliament for more than 20 years.

Gil Paterson (below) was elected as an MSP for Central Scotland in 1999, before becoming a West of Scotland MSP in 2007 and later the MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie in 2011.

In a statement released this afternoon the MSP said it had been an “honour and privilege” to represent his constituency for nine years.

He said stepping down had been a “difficult decision” to make. However, he added his “own personal situation” had told him 2021 is the “right time” to stand down from the role.

The National:

Paterson said: “It has been truly an honour and privilege to represent the Clydebank and Milngavie Constituency, not forgetting the communities of Bearsden North and Old Kilpatrick, who unfortunately are not mentioned in the constituency official title.

“It has been a difficult decision for me to make, however, my own personal situation tells me that the 2021 election is the right time for me to stand down”.

“I have met some truly wonderful and inspiring people, both individually and through our outstanding local organisations and community groups during my time as the MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, and I thank each of them for their support.

“Although I won’t be returning after the next election, there are still ten months of this Parliament to go and much water to run under the bridge before then, so I can assure everyone that I remain absolutely committed to working hard as your MSP for the rest of this Parliament and will continue to do my utmost for my constituents that deserve and expect nothing less of me.”

Paterson joined the SNP in 1967 and has held many positions at all levels of the party, from branch to National Executive Council.