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Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 18:10 GMT
Scots MPs bid farewell to Westminster
House of Commons
Sixteen Scottish MPs are standing down
A quarter of the 72 Scottish seats at Westminster are set to get a new MP - regardless of the outcome of the general election.

Eighteen of the incumbent Scots MPs are standing down - seven of them heading for retirement and the remainder quitting the House of Commons to concentrate on their duties in the Scottish Parliament.

There is no legal requirement for MSPs to stand down as MPs, but that is the practice being adopted by those currently wearing both hats.

Sam Galbraith
Sam Galbraith is leaving Holyrood and Westminster
The question does not immediately concern the Tories, who were left without any Scottish MPs after the 1997 election.

However, the party's Phil Gallie is seeking to buck the trend by standing as an MP while still an MSP.

He has put himself forward for the Ayr seat which he lost to Labour's Sandra Osborne in 1997.

However, if successful he plans to stand down as list MSP for the South of Scotland.

Seven Labour MPs will be bidding farewell to London, including former Scottish environment minister Sam Galbraith.

The MP and MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, who won the seat in 1987, announced his resignation due to health reasons in March.

Retiring from parliament

He served as health minister in the Scottish Office prior to devolution and then went on to serve as education minister at Holyrood.

Glasgow Maryhill MP Maria Fyfe, who has represented the area since 1987, is also retiring.

The other MPs retiring from parliament are John Maxton, who has been the member for Glasgow Cathcart since 1979, Midlothian MP Eric Clarke and Greenock and Inverclyde MP Norman Godman.

Dr Godman also served as member for Greenock and Port Glasgow from 1983 to 1997.

First Minister Henry McLeish, who has been MP for Central Fife since 1987, leads those quitting Westminster to concentrate on their Holyrood duties.

Robert Maclennan
Robert Maclennan has been an MP for three parties
He was a devolution minister in the former Scottish Office, and played a key role in delivering Scotland's first parliament in almost 300 years.

The former enterprise minister at Holyrood took on the post of first minister following the death of late leader Donald Dewar last year.

Malcolm Chisholm - who was member for Edinburgh Leith from 1992 to 1997, when he won the Edinburgh North and Leith seat - is taking a similar course of action.

He is deputy health minister at Holyrood.

Scotland's deputy fisheries minister, John Home Robertson, is also standing down as MP for East Lothian.

He has held the seat since 1983, and was member for Berwick and East Lothian from 1978 to 1983.

Long-serving MPs

Dundee East MP John McAllion, who has represented the seat since 1987, is also standing down to concentrate on Holyrood.

Four of the Liberal Democrats' Westminster contingent are standing down.

Long-serving parliamentarians Ray Michie and Robert Maclennan are both retiring, while Jim Wallace and Donald Gorrie will concentrate on their roles as MSPs.

Mr Wallace has been MP for Orkney and Shetland since 1983 and is also MSP for Orkney.

In addition to his role as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, he is also the Scottish Parliament's deputy first minister and justice minister.

The party's finance spokesman, Mr Gorrie, will not be seeking re-election as MP for Edinburgh West to concentrate on his role as an MSP for Central Scotland Region.

Maria Fyfe
Maria Fyfe has represented Glasgow Maryhill since 1987
Mr Maclennan is the party's UK front bench spokesman on constitutional affairs and culture.

The member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross was initially elected as a Labour MP in 1966, but quit the party in 1981 to become a founder member of the Social Democratic Party.

He became SDP leader in 1987 and led the negotiations which led to the creation of the Liberal Democrats the following year.

Mrs Michie is the party's Scottish spokeswoman on agriculture, rural affairs, community care and national heritage.

She has been the MP for Argyll and Bute since 1987, and chaired the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 1991 to 1993.

Alex Salmond is the only Scottish National Party MP bidding to remain at Westminster.

Leadership successor

The former party leader has quit his Scottish Parliament seat, sparking a by-election in his Banff and Buchan constituency.

His successor as leader, John Swinney, is one of five MPs standing down to concentrate on Holyrood.

He was elected MP for Tayside North in 1997, and won the same constituency at the Scottish parliamentary elections.

Roseanna Cunningham, his deputy leader and the party's justice spokeswoman in Scotland, is also stepping down as an MP.

Roseanna Cunningham
Roseanna Cunningham is the SNP's deputy leader
She won the Perth and Kinross seat at the 1995 by-election caused by the death of Tory MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn and then held Perth at the 1997 election.

Also quitting Westminster is Margaret Ewing, who represented Dunbartonshire East from 1974 to 1979.

She has been MP for Moray since June 1987.

The party's Westminster chief whip Alasdair Morgan won the Galloway and Upper Nithsdale seat from the Tories in 1997, and represents the same seat in the Scottish Parliament.

He is the party's rural affairs spokesman at Holyrood.

The final SNP MP to abandon Westminster is Andrew Welsh.

He was member for Angus South from 1974 to 1979, then MP for Angus East from 1987 to 1997, when he became MP for Angus.