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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 12:39 GMT
Edinburgh city leader to quit job
Donald Anderson
Donald Anderson wants to stand for the Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh City Council leader, Donald Anderson, is to stand down.

The 43-year-old Labour councillor for Kaimes said he would not be seeking re-election to the post next year.

A councillor for 20 years, Mr Anderson will have completed two four-year terms as leader by the time of the next city council elections in May 2007.

He said he planned to stand as Labour candidate for Edinburgh South in the Scottish parliamentary elections next year.

The seat is currently held by Liberal Democrat Mike Pringle, who won it from Labour's former finance minister Angus MacKay by just 158 votes in 2003.

Nothing goes on forever. I am quite sad (to be leaving the post) but no job lasts forever
Donald Anderson
Edinburgh City Council leader

Mr Anderson, a father-of-two, said he felt it was the "right time" to move on".

"Nothing goes on forever," he said. "I am quite sad (to be leaving the post) but no job lasts forever.

"I have been selected to stand in the next parliamentary elections which is a tough challenge but I will give it my best shot.

Highlight as leader

"One of my highlights (in the post as city leader) was the way the city rose to the challenge during the G8 summit.

"To walk down Princes Street and see the Make Poverty History banner was quite something.

"Edinburgh is the best city in Britain because not only is it stunningly beautiful but it is big enough to have all the things it should have and is small enough to be easily accessible to everything. It is also the people that make the city so special."

Mr Anderson said he was looking forward to the "challenge" ahead.

The medical scientist, when asked who he tipped to succeed him, said: "There is a wealth of talent on the Labour benches."

Edinburgh City Chambers
Mr Anderson voiced confidence in a smooth succession

Asked if the authority should have a female council leader to accompany provost Lesley Hinds on official engagements, he told the BBC Scotland news website: "It is always good when a woman is in a senior position."

Wishing him well, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Ron Hewitt said: "Donald Anderson's achievements as leader of the City of Edinburgh Council are appreciated by a great number of people.

"He has shown strategic vision in driving forward an agenda for the city which has delivered for its people as a whole.

"Under his regime tourism has flourished against national trends at difficult times, we have safer and cleaner streets, and he has led a regime which has seen great strides made for the city economy."

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