SNP's Andrew Welsh to stand down

Veteran Nationalist Andrew Welsh will stand down from Holyrood at the Scottish elections next year, it was announced today.

The 66 year old has been MSP for Angus since devolution in 1999 and a public servant for more than 30 years.

Mr Welsh was elected to Westminster as part of the group of 11 Nationalist MPs in 1974, serving for 19 years.

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"Whether building the essential A92 dual carriageway, saving GlaxoSmithKline from closure, the massive investment in both the Scottish Crop Research Institute and the recent 3.2 million investment in Montrose Harbour, the economic well-being and success of Angus have always been at the forefront of my work as the elected representative of Angus.

"I thank the people of Angus and the SNP workers who have allowed me to represent them and build a strong foundation for the future of our communities."

Joining the SNP in Glasgow in 1960, Mr Welsh entered frontline politics as a Stirling district councillor. He was provost of Angus between 1984 and 1987.

He was MP first for South Angus, then Angus East and finally Angus between 1997 and 2001.

At Holyrood he served on the Audit Committee and was appointed convener of the Finance Committee in this session.

Outside of politics, Mr Welsh taught history and modern studies and was a college lecturer in business studies and public administration.