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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 17:10 GMT
Top Labour official to stand down
Lesley Quinn
Lesley Quinn has worked for Labour for 27 years
Labour's top official in Scotland is to stand down after working for the party for 27 years, it has been announced.

Lesley Quinn, 46, joined as a junior shorthand typist and rose to become general secretary of the Scottish Labour party.

She said she had "accomplished" all her goals and would take some time to "set out the next chapter" of her future.

Ms Quinn will stand down after the Scottish Labour conference in Aviemore in March.

Personal goals

Her successor will be appointed by a joint panel of the party's Scottish and UK executive committees.

Ms Quinn's departure comes two months after Wendy Alexander succeeded Jack McConnell as leader.

Ms Alexander said she was "disappointed" that Ms Quinn was going and party sources discounted any suggestion that her departure was anything other than amicable.

She said: "I have spent 27 years working for the Labour Party spanning five leaders, two Prime Ministers, three first ministers - and have stories to tell about them all.

She carries a huge amount of respect across the Labour Party and the Labour Party owes her a huge debt of gratitude
Wendy Alexander
Scottish Labour leader

"I have more than exceeded all of my personal goals and ambitions in a demanding role.

"There were times when we had to keep the faith that one day there would be a Labour government, and now, 10 years into a Labour government, I feel a tremendous sense of achievement, both politically and personally."

She added: "I feel now is the time for me to build on achievements within the Labour Party, having now accomplished all of my goals, and take some time to set out the next chapter in my future.

"I have a number of options, but first and foremost I want to make sure Labour's next conference is a success."

Wendy Alexander said: "I am disappointed Lesley has decided to stand down after conference, her wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership in the Labour Party is massive."

She added: "She carries a huge amount of respect across the Labour Party and the Labour Party owes her a huge debt of gratitude."

Gordon Brown said: "Lesley has made a massive contribution to the Labour Party and has been on an incredible journey from junior short hand typist to general secretary.

"After 27 years, her leadership, counsel and experience will be sorely missed."

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