FORMER Labour frontbencher Richard Baker has quit as an MSP with immediate effect less then four months before the Holyrood election to take up a job with a charity.
Mr Baker, who was also a director of the anti-independence campaign Better Together, resigned as a North-East MSP after 13 years in the Scottish Parliament.
He had announced his intention to step down as an MSP, soon after he was defeated in Scottish Labour’s election for deputy leader last autumn.
However, Mr Baker said he had now been offered a job as a policy officer for the charity Age Scotland that started with immediate effect, meaning he had to resign his Holyrood seat straight away.
Mr Baker, who previously worked for Age Scotland, when the charity was previously known as Help The Aged, was also defeated as Labour’s general election candidate in Aberdeen North in the SNP rout last May.
He 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.”
The resignation yesterday of Mr Baker was described by SNP SNP Linda Fabiani as a “hasty departure” so close to this May’s election.
His place as an MSP will be taken over by Dundee Labour councillor Lesley Brennan, who finished behind him in the regional list for the North-East at the 2011 election.