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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 August 2007, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
MSP announces move to step down
Stefan Tymkewycz
Stefan Tymkewycz said he had thought "long and hard"
A Nationalist MSP has announced that he is to step down just months after being elected to Holyrood.

Stefan Tymkewycz was also elected as a councillor in Edinburgh when he won his Lothians list seat in May.

The former Metropolitan officer will be replaced by Shirley-Anne Somerville on the Lothians list.

Mr Tymkewycz said: "Although elected to both roles, I have chosen the one where my passion lies and that is working for the good people of Edinburgh."

The ex-Metropolitan police officer hit the headlines last month when it emerged that he had amassed a property portfolio worth more than 2m in the capital.

'Great ability'

He added: "I have thought long and hard about this over the summer but now realise that it is the council ward aspect of my work which gives me the greatest satisfaction.

"It is what I do best and I know that, in Shirley-Anne Somerville, I have an outstanding successor waiting in the wings.

"She is an extremely talented individual and I will be passing over my duties to a young woman with a great deal of ability."

Ms Somerville is a former Royal College of Nursing officer.

Mr Tymkewycz, who was elected as councillor in the Craigentinny/Duddingston ward, will leave his MSP role at the end of the parliamentary recess.

'Real pressure'

He hit the headlines last month when it emerged that he had amassed a property portfolio worth more than 2m in the capital.

Mr Tymkewycz's 15 flats in Edinburgh emerged in his Holyrood register of interests.

A Labour spokesman said: "This is an embarrassment to Alex Salmond who has maintained his MSPs can be councillors and MSPs without conflict of interests.

"Clearly one of his MSPs disagrees. This puts real pressure on the remaining councillors who are also SNP MSPs."

He added: "Labour has clear rules that people must stand for either their local council or for the Scottish Parliament to avoid this type of situation."


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