Scottish Tory MP elected in 2017 to stand down at next election

Bill Grant.
Bill Grant.
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A Scottish Tory MP who was elected just over two years ago has announced that he will stand down at the next election, expected to take place some time in November.

Bill Grant, who took the seat of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock from the SNP's Corri Wilson with a majority of just under 3,000 at the snap general election of 2017, told his local party association of his decision earlier this morning.

The former fire brigade deputy commander and councillor 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.

“I have felt immensely proud and privileged to serve the constituency.

“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."

READ MORE: Poll: Tories set to lose seats in Scotland

Boris Johnson's second attempt at forcing through an election in October was defeated in the House of Commons late last night, meaning a poll is likely to take place some time in November.

Mr Grant's seat, which Ms Wilson won from Labour with a majority of over 11,000 in 2015, will likely be a top target seat for the SNP.

Recent polling has suggested that the Scottish Conservatives, who recently saw long-serving leader Ruth Davidson step down from her position, could lose a majority of the seats they won in 2017.

The party went from a single MP to 13 at the snap election of that year, chiefly by campaigning on opposition to a second referendum on independence.

However with Brexit still dominating, and the fledgling premiership of Boris Johnson, there are fears within the Scottish party that they could suffer a reversal of those fortunes at an election this Autumn.

Reacting, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: "The Tories clearly see the writing on the wall – and are jumping ship before they can be turfed out by the people of Scotland at the coming election.

"Unlike the SNP, Tory MPs have completely failed to stand up for Scotland. Every time they have had the chance to vote against Boris Johnson's extreme Brexit they have bottled it and obeyed their orders from Downing Street.