AN MSP who represented the Scottish National Party for more than 30 years has announced he will retire next year.

Bruce Crawford, MSP for Stirling, made the announcement yesterday, February 18, that he will not seek re-election at the next Scottish Parliament election in May next year.

By the time he steps down he will have been in public service for over 46 years, 33 as an SNP elected representative.

Mr Crawford was first elected to Holyrood on the Mid Scotland and Fife list in 1999, winning the Stirling Constituency in 2007.

In Government, Mr Crawford served as the Minister for Parliament Business and then as the Cabinet Secretary for Parliament and Government Strategy before stepping down from the role in 2012.

He currently chairs the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee and is the Convener of the SNP’s MSP Group at Holyrood.

Mr Crawford said: “While I am still enjoying being an MSP my wife has already retired and we have three wonderful young grandchildren for whom we want to create much more space in our lives.

“It has been an honour and privilege to serve as the MSP for the Stirling Constituency as well as to have the opportunity to be a Cabinet Secretary, a Committee Convener, the SNP Business Convener and a Council Leader all over the last 33 politically packed years.

“I will miss working with, and for, so many people in the Stirling Constituency.  I will of course continue as an MSP for more than another year and during that time, I hope to say a personal thank you to the many people who have been part of my life over the years in both the Constituency and at Holyrood.”