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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 15:45 GMT
Canavan receives Holyrood ovation
Dennis Canavan
Dennis Canavan will not contest his seat in the May election
Independent MSP Dennis Canavan has received an ovation in parliament, following his decision to stand down at the next Scottish election.

Jack McConnell led a tribute to the Falkirk West MSP during First Minister's Question Time.

Mr Canavan, whose second son died in December, said he wanted to spend some time with his youngest son, who starts school later in the year.

The former Labour MP is one of Scotland's longest-serving politicians.

Speaking in Holyrood's main chamber, Mr McConnell said it was an appropriate time for MSPs to express their appreciation to Mr Canavan.

"Dennis Canavan was the first parliamentary candidate that I ever voted for in 1979," said the first minister.

"He was, in my view, both as a Labour representative and as an independent, an outstanding parliamentarian over a long, long period of time."

Mr McConnell added: "I wish him, and I'm sure everybody else does, a long and happy retirement with his family and I hope they enjoy it as much as he will."

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