HOLYROOD’S presiding officer is undertaking a Scotland-wide tour to combat “fake news and growing cynicism” as part of events marking the 20th anniversary of devolution.

Ken Macintosh will visit every electoral region of the country to underline the importance of the Scottish Parliament’s engagement with local communities.

He will begin in Glasgow’s Maryhill & Springburn constituency on Friday, going to Skye and Banff & Buchan later in the year.

The aim is to “identify and break down the barriers” between voters and their politicians.

Mr Macintosh, the former Labour MSP for Eastwood, said: “Our 20th anniversary is an opportunity for people across Scotland to reflect on the difference that the Scottish Parliament has made over these past two decades to peoples’ lives.

“More important than that, it is an opportunity to take positive action to strengthen our relationship with local communities, helping to create an environment where people are actively engaged with the Parliament and know how to make their voice heard.

“In these days of fake news and growing cynicism towards politics and politicians, it is more important than ever that we actively reach out to communities across the country and demonstrate Parliament is accessible and there for the people of Scotland.

“My hope is that we can use these 20th anniversary events to highlight the principles on which we were founded and to demonstrate that we have never forgotten the importance of our partnership with local people across Scotland.”

Mr Macintosh’s first stop includes a discussion on Holyrood’s future with P6 and P7 pupils; a lunch about the challenges faced by immigrants and asylum seekers; meeting the head of Scotland’s Regional Equality Councils to talk about barriers for ethnic communities in politics; and chairing a panel discussion on mental health with the local community.

Bob Doris, the SNP MSP for Maryhill & Springburn, said: “It is fitting that the voice of local young people will feature so prominently, given the responsibility our Parliament has to help deliver on their hopes and aspirations, as well as to listen to their concerns.

“I am particularly pleased to support events discussing the challenges and opportunities to promote positive mental health in our communities, as well as to help highlight the work of various organisations who help support and promote the values of diversity and inclusiveness across Maryhill and Springburn.

“Maryhill and Springburn has a proud history and bright future and we look forward to sharing this with the Presiding Officer during his visit.”