Tory MSP Bill Aitken to stand down at next Holyrood election

VETERAN Conservative politician Bill Aitken will stand down at the next Holyrood election, he announced today.

The Glasgow MSP, pictured, who has served since the start of the Scottish Parliament, said it is "time to move on".

He was a city councillor for more than 20 years and became the only Conservative to be elected to Holyrood from Glasgow.

Mr Aitken, 63, convenes the high-profile Justice Committee which scrutinises legislation, such as the recent Criminal Licensing and Justice Bill.

"I don't want to hang about. Once you've done all you can do, it's time to move on," he said.

"I've firmly enjoyed my council service and parliamentary service. But it's time to go."

Mr Aitken said he will be 67 if he serves another four-year term at Holyrood and wants to turn his attention to other interests.

"I've always wanted to play golf but never had the time. I don't preclude the possibility of doing some work if someone wants me to, and then there's outdoor pursuits and maybe some charity work.

"I've particularly enjoyed representing Glasgow. I have a very real love of Glasgow."

Mr Aitken was born and bred in the city.

He told the Tory group at Holyrood last night he will be standing down at the election next year.