SCOTLAND’S freedom of information tsar is to leave office a year early.

Rosemary Agnew, whose six-year term as Scottish Information Commissioner was due to run until 2018, will take up the post of Public Services Ombudsman from May instead.

MSPs yesterday unanimously approved her switch to the new post, which handles complaints of last resort from people let down by the government, NHS, and other public bodies.

The outgoing Ombudsman, Jim Martin, last month revealed his workload had increased considerably in recent years, from 599 health complaints in 2007-08 and 1,512 in 2015-16.

SNP MSP Bob Doris told Holyrood the appointment had been the result of a unanimous decision by a cross-party panel chaired by Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh.

Ms Agnew, a former chief executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, was present when the chamber affirmed the appointment.

She will receive a salary of £83,000 in her new post, which runs for a fixed term of eight years.

The Scottish Information Commissioner’s office said the vacancy created by her exit had yet to be advertised, however in 2012 the Head of Enforcement had become Acting Commissioner before Ms Agnew’s appointment, and that could happen again this year.