Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

MSP to stand down as councillor

John Wilson MSP
Mr Wilson is a former director of the Scottish Low Pay Unit

A nationalist MSP has announced that he is to step down as a councillor in North Lanarkshire in April.

John Wilson was chosen to represent the Coatbridge North and Glenboig ward at local council elections in May 2007.

At the same time he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as an MSP for Central Scotland.

He said he was quitting his council role in order to concentrate on his parliamentary work. His decision will trigger a by-election in Coatbridge.

Mr Wilson, 52, is a former director of the Scottish Low Pay Unit and has an MA in Politics and Economic History.

Speaking about his decision to stand down he said: "I have been thinking about this move for some time.

"I have enjoyed my time representing the people of the ward immensely but I feel the time has come to stand down as a councillor and to concentrate on my work in parliament.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with my council colleagues as a Central Scotland MSP and to campaigning alongside them in the by-election."

He said he hoped the resulting by-election would be held alongside the European elections in June.

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