A SCOTTISH Tory MP whose office was targeted by protestors last week after saying he would back a no-deal Brexit has announced he is to stand down at the coming election.

Bill Grant, a Remain supporter who admits he is “no fan” of Boris Johnson, said he had made the “difficult decision” after “much reflection”. 

The 68-year-old former fireman and South Ayrshire councillor won Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock with a majority of less than 3,000 in 2017.

He insisted he had always intended to serve a single term as an MP.

The SNP said Mr Grant had “seen the writing on the wall” and quit before he was defeated.

Ruth Davidson resigned as Scottish Tory leader her post last month, citing family pressures but also her “conflict” over Brexit.

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Mr Grant recently said he would back a no-deal Brexit under Mr Johnson “with a heavy heart”, prompting a backlash in his constituency.

A group of protestors waving placards picketed his office in Ayr last week while he was travelling to Westminster.

He said afterwards: “It’s no secret that I didn’t vote for Boris Johnston to become our new leader and I was never a fan of him as such.

“But I’ve observed him shake things up in the last four weeks and he has made far more progress than Theresa May – a woman for whom I had great respect and admiration.” 

HeraldScotland:

Mr Grant took the Ayr seat by overturning the 15,000 majority won the SNPs Corri Wilson in 2015 and racking up a Tory lead of 2,774.

In a letter to his local party, he said: “This has been a difficult decision to take.

“I have served my country in some form of public service for 53 years, and to leave that service now when the country is facing such an enormous challenge has been difficult to consider.

“However, I have always maintained that I intended to serve one term only, albeit in this case it looks to be only two-and-a-half years rather than the anticipated five. 

“I have felt immensely proud and privileged to serve the constituency.

“I wish to thank all my constituents who supported me in 2017 and those who have in recent weeks indicated that they would support me in the forthcoming election, including a number from those who are not traditionally Conservative voters.

“To these people who had faith in me, a heartfelt thank you. 

“I have throughout my time in office endeavoured to put my constituents first and serve them to the best of my abilities.

“Constituents who granted me the privilege of learning about their lives and businesses, or to participate in their local events.

“I wish whoever they choose to elect the best of luck and hope they will serve my former constituents well. I certainly intend to remain involved locally, even if it is just to go back to the litter-picking. 

“In closing, I wish to thank my constituency and parliamentary staff for their hard work, loyalty and dedication.

“They have been unwavering in their support for me and my constituents. I reflect on a line from Burns given to the Dumfries-shire Volunteers - “ne'er forget the people”. Well, I certainly never will.”

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SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “The Tories clearly see the writing on the wall – and are jumping ship before they can be turfed out by the people of Scotland at the coming election.

"Unlike the SNP, Tory MPs have completely failed to stand up for Scotland. Every time they have had the chance to vote against Boris Johnson's extreme Brexit they have bottled it and obeyed their orders from Downing Street.

“Not one of them had the guts to stand up to Boris Johnson and oppose his reckless No-deal plans which threaten to be ruinous for the Scottish economy – and voters will remember that.

"It's no wonder support for the Tories is collapsing. They have cut Scotland's budget and want to impose a devastating Brexit, which could cause a recession, destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs, and inflict lasting harm on living standards, public services and the economy.

"Once the threat of a no-deal Brexit is off the table, there must be an early election so we can get rid of the Tories. The SNP will be putting Scotland's opposition to Brexit and our right to choose our own future at the heart of that contest."