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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Farewell to the parliament
Former first minister Henry McLeish, Presiding Officer Sir David Steel and SNP elder Winnie Ewing are the big-name MSPs not standing at May's Scottish Parliament election.

Lesser known names, Tory MSPs Ben Wallace and John Young, and the Liberal Democrats' education spokesman Ian Jenkins are also stepping down.

As well as Mrs Ewing, three other SNP MSPs will not return to the new parliament - Kay Ullrich, Duncan Hamilton and Colin Campbell.

Former SNP MSP, Dorothy-Grace Elder, who quit the party and became an independent in May last year is not running again.


HENRY McLEISH: The Labour MSP's rise within Scottish politics was no less than dramatic.

The Fife Central representative was elected to the top job in October 2000 following the sudden death of First Minister Donald Dewar.

As an MP, the former footballer was devolution minister at the then Scottish Office and played a key role in delivering Scotland's first parliament in almost 300 years.

Henry McLeish, former first minister

Fife-born Mr McLeish was fiercely loyal to Mr Dewar and was perceived as a "safe pair of hands" into which the baton for leading the Scottish Executive and Scottish Labour could be passed.

But as his first anniversary in the job approached everything started to go wrong.

Mr McLeish became embroiled in a row after it emerged that he had sub-let his constituency office to outside organisations when he was MP for Central Fife.

He agreed to pay 9,000 to the Westminster Fees Office and insisted he had not done anything wrong, dubbing the matter a "muddle not a fiddle".

However, the disclosure of further sub-lets led to his resignation in November 2001.

Mr McLeish, 54, was sent to the backbench where he remained quiet and uncontroversial.

In September last year the father-of-four issued a statement which said: "After 30 years experience fighting, and 28 in public office I am today announcing my intention to withdraw from elected politics."

Mr McLeish has said he hoped to continue a political role in Scotland and be involved in teaching and lecturing.


SIR DAVID STEEL: The former leader of the Liberal Party came out of early retirement to stand for the Scottish Parliament as a list MSP for the Lothians region.

At the opening ceremony in the summer of 1999, the 64-year-old said: "We must cherish the Scottish Parliament. This is the start of a new sang."

Sir David Steel and Ian Jenkins
Sir David Steel and Ian Jenkins
He has relished the non-party role of presiding officer, overseeing debates on key legislation such as the repeal of Section 28 and the ban on hunting with dogs.

Sir David was elected to Westminster in 1965 and served there until 1997. From 1976 to 1988 he was leader of the Liberals.

Kirkcaldy-born Sir David moved to the House of Lords as a life peer in 1997, when he took his seat as Lord Steel of Aikwood.

But he made his intentions known early that he would step down at the 2003 Holyrood election.

In June 2001, Sir David revealed that he was suffering from prostate cancer. He later underwent surgery which proved successful.

The father-of three has written several books including his autobiography titled Against Goliath.


IAN JENKINS: The 61-year-old has worked closely with Sir David Steel since joining the Liberals in the 1970s.

The Rothesay-born politician has been the Liberal Democrats' spokesman for education in the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Jenkins taught in Clydebank High School from 1964 until 1970, then he became principal teacher of English at Peebles High School. He is retiring as an MSP for Ettrick and Lauderdale.


BEN WALLACE The 32-year-old former army officer has been deputy health spokesman for the Conservatives.

Ben Wallace and John Young
Ben Wallace and John Young
Farnborough-born Mr Wallace attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and was an army officer in the Scots Guards from 1991-98.

He served in Northern Ireland and Central America and was injured in Northern Ireland.

Mr Wallace is stepping down as a list MSP for North East Scotland region to pursue his ambition of becoming elected to the House of Commons.


JOHN YOUNG: The Tories' deputy transport and environment spokesman had a solid grounding in local politics before entering the Scottish Parliament as a list member for West of Scotland region.

He was elected a Glasgow councillor in 1961, rising to the post of council leader between 1977 and 1979.

The 72-year-old stood unsuccessfully for election to Westminster for Rutherglen in 1966 and Cathcart in 1992.

Glasgow-born Mr Young, who wrote a history of Cathcart Conservative Association between 1918 and 1993, is retiring as an MSP.


WINNIE EWING: The 73-year-old SNP MSP presided over the opening of the Scottish Parliament.

The Highlands and Islands representative says that was the highlight of her four years in the chamber.

Winnie Ewing talking to John Swinney
Dr Ewing, who joined the SNP in 1946, is head of a well-known political dynasty.

Her son Fergus and daughter-in-law Margaret are MSPs in Edinburgh and daughter Annabelle is a Westminster MP.

In 1967, Dr Ewing was elected to the Westminster Parliament after sensationally winning the Hamilton by-election for the Scottish National Party in 1967.

In Europe, Dr Ewing was known as "Madame Ecosse" and given the title "Mother of the European Parliament" when she served from 1975 to 1999 as an MEP.

The widowed former solicitor said she hoped to spend more time with her two grandchildren Ciara, three, and one-year-old Jamie once she leaves elected politics.


DUNCAN HAMILTON: The 28-year-old SNP MSP was the parliament's youngest member when he was elected from the Highlands and Islands list at the 1999 election.

He is quitting the parliament to pursue a career in law.

Colin Campbell and Duncan Hamilton
Colin Campbell and Duncan Hamilton
In February last year, he wrote an open letter to his Argyll and Bute constituency party in which he said he believed it was best for elected representatives to have "real life experience" outside politics.

The Ayrshire born MSP, who received an LLB from the University of Edinburgh and was a Kennedy scholar at Harvard, Massachusetts, indicated he might seek a return to parliamentary life in the future.

He is currently the SNP's deputy spokesperson on enterprise and lifelong learning.


COLIN CAMPBELL: The MSP is currently defence spokesman for the SNP.

The 64-year-old former head teacher is a list member for the west of Scotland region and is retiring at the end of this parliament.

Mr Campbell, who joined the SNP in 1976, has an interest in military history and is co-authoring a book on a WWI poet.

The father-of-three also enjoys gardening and is a former chairman of both Kilbarchan Community Council and Kilbarchan Civic Society.


DOROTHY-GRACE ELDER: The former journalist was elected an MSP for the Scottish National Party at the 1999 Holyrood election.

But she quit in May last year because of what she said was "stupid, arrogant and bullying behaviour".

Ms Elder, a list member for Glasgow, stayed on as an independent despite SNP leader John Swinney calling for her to resign from the pparliament.

Dorothy-Grace Elder and Kay Ullrich
Dorothy-Grace Elder and Kay Ullrich
Although one of the SNP's most colourful politicians she was unpopular with the party leadership. She had previously fallen out with them over claims she did not contribute enough cash towards the cost of party research.

The final row was prompted by what Ms Elder said were her own party's attempts to remove her against her will from the parliament's health and community care committee.

She has written columns for the Scottish Daily Express and the Daily Express in London and the Sunday Mail. Ms Elder was also an investigative writer for The Herald and a member of the Scottish Daily News Workers' Co-operative.


KAY ULLRICH: The MSP is a West of Scotland list member for the SNP and used to be the party's spokesperson for health.

In June 2000 she made much of an embarrassing wrangle within the Cabinet over health spending.

The 59-year-old led criticism of the executive after the then health minister Susan Deacon announced an extra 8m to the NHS on the same day First Minister Jack McConnell revealed that 34m in health spending would have to be clawed back.

The former swimming teacher had a number of failed attempts at parliamentary elections before success at the 1999 poll.

She stood as candidate for Cunninghame South in 1983 and 1987 and Motherwell South in 1992 in general elections. She also stood as a candidate in the Monklands East by-election in 1994.

Before entering politics full-time she did social work in schools, hospitals and courts.

Mrs Ullrich, who has two children, is currently the SNP's parliamentary group chief whip.




SEE ALSO:
McLeish announces political exit
05 Sep 02  |  Scotland
Steel in prostate cancer call
28 Apr 02  |  Scotland
Youngest MSP to stand down
17 Feb 02  |  Scotland
Legal hurdle to hunting ban bill
26 Oct 01  |  Scotland
SNP veteran Ewing to retire
22 Jul 01  |  Scotland
A new career in a new parliament
28 Jun 99  |  Scottish Parliament opening
MSP quits nationalists
02 May 02  |  Scotland



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