HOLYROOD’S presiding officer has announced he is standing down as an MSP.

Ken Macintosh, 58, will leave at next May’s election after 22 years in the Scottish Parliament.

He was first elected as the Labour MSP for Eastwood in 1999, and held the seat for four terms before losing it to Tory Jackson Carlaw in 2016.

He is currently a list MSP for the West of Scotland

Mr Macintosh tried to become Scottish Labour leader in 2015, but lost to Kezia Dugdale by almost three-to-one.

A year later, he had more success in a five-way fight for Presiding Officer, a position that obliged him to sever his party links.

He was the parliament’s fifth presiding officer, and the first from Labour’s ranks, following in the footsteps of Sir David Steel, Sir George Reid, Alex Fergusson, and Tricia Marwick.

Mr Macintosh said: “After much reflection, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Scottish Parliament in May next year. 

“It has been an honour to represent the people of East Renfrewshire and the West of Scotland for the last two decades and I would thank you for the trust you have placed in me.”

“The Scottish Parliament has delivered so much since 1999 and has grown in confidence and maturity, but there are clearly many challenges which lie ahead. 

“The privilege of being Presiding Officer in this, my now final, term is something I will never forget and I will continue to do what I can to support the Parliament and the hopes and ambitions it sustains for our democracy.”

Mr Macintosh is the 28th MSP to stand down down next May, adding to what is already a record exodus.

No Presiding Officer has served more than a single term.

Born in Inverness and educated in Portree and Edinburgh’s Royal High School, Mr Macintosh was a BBC television producer before entering politics.


The father-of-six was a ministerial aide to Labour First Minister Jack McConnell and as a backbencher introduced a Bill to regulate sunbed parlours and tackle skin cancer. 

In opposition, he held briefs on education, culture, social justice and finance.

As a departing MSP, his long service entitles him to an automatic resettlement grant of a year’s salary of £64,470, the first £30,000 of which is tax free.

He also gets a grant for loss of office as presiding officer of £24,225.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Ken has been a great servant of the Scottish Labour Party, the Parliament and most important of all, the people. 

"An ardent supporter of devolution, and a member of the Parliament since 1999 his unstinting efforts as a Labour front bencher and over the last four years as the Presiding Officer have consistently made the case for the Parliament as a power for change.

"He is a kind and decent man with a strong sense of his own values. The Scottish Labour Party wishes him, Claire and the family well.”