Former SNP health secretary Alex Neil has revealed he is quitting Holyrood at next year's election.

The 69-year-old, who has been an MSP for 21 years, became the latest high-profile SNP MSP to announce he will not be seeking re-election in May.

In a full statement posted on social media he wrote: "After much soul searching, I have decided that to commit to another five years as an MSP would mean not having the time to pursue all the other things in life I want to do."

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Mr Neil, who represents the Airdrie and Shotts constituency, has been an MSP since Holyrood was established in 1999, serving first as a list MSP for the Central Scotland region, before winning his constituency seat in 2011.

He said it had been a "privilege and a pleasure" to have been an MSP for 21 years "especially since 2011 when I became the constituency MSP for Airdrie and Shotts".

And he said he had been "tempted to stand again as I love my constituency".

But Mr Neil said he owed it to his wife and family to spend more time with them.

He added: "I have another eight months to serve out my term. My priorities during that time will be to help tackle the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic in my constituency and to ensure that the new Monklands Hospital will be located in one of the two shortlisted sites in Airdrie and not at Gartcosh.

"More generally, I will continue to work full-time for my constituents up until I cease being their MSP at the end of March 2021."

Mr Neil succeeded current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as health secretary, holding the post for two years between 2012 and 2014. He was also in the Scottish Cabinet as communities secretary until 2016.

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His announcement comes the day after Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced she would not be seeking re-election in May.

Meanwhile, other SNP MSPs, including Constitution Secretary Mike Russell, Gail Ross and Bruce Crawford, have all confirmed they will be stepping down.