North-east MSP stands down ahead of Scottish elections

A north-east MSP has resigned just months before this year's Holyrood election.

Monday, 11th January 2016, 12:51 pm
Updated Monday, 11th January 2016, 12:56 pm
Richard Baker is stepping down ahead of this year's Scottish elections Picture: Contributed

Richard Baker is standing down after 13 years as a Labour MSP, having first been elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2003.

Mr Baker has held a number of senior frontbench roles since Labour moved to the opposition benches in 2007, including the role of shadow justice secretary.

Last year Mr Baker stood to be Scottish Labour’s deputy leader but was defeated by fellow MSP Alex Rowley.

Serving the North East of Scotland region, he had already announced he would not seek re-election in May. He leaves Parliament to take up a new policy role with Age Scotland, having previously worked with Help the Aged before entering Holyrood.

Commenting, Mr Baker said: “Having worked for Help the Aged before I was elected, I am particularly delighted to start a new challenge with a charity which does so much for older people in Scotland.

“I want to thank members again for their support over the years and my colleagues in Parliament. I am delighted the final leader I have served under is one of our own from the north-east.”

Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, said: “Richard Baker is a good friend and we will be sad to see him leave Holyrood. Parliament’s loss is Age Scotland’s gain. He has been a strong advocate for the north-east and a source of great support for me personally throughout the years.

“I wish Richard all the best in his new role, and know that he will be a major asset to the vital campaign work ensuring older people get the best from our government.”

Councillor for East End Dundee, Lesley Brennan, said: “He has been a tireless champion for social justice throughout his career, and I wish him well with Age Scotland.”