ONE of the SNP's most controversial MSPs has said he will likely stand down at the next Scottish Parliament elections.

John Mason told Holyrood magazine, he was "90-95 per cent sure" the 2026 vote would be the right time to retire.

The 65-year-old Glasgow Shettleston MSP has often found himself at odds with party colleagues, particularly over abortion. 

READ MORE: SNP MSP John Mason under fire over anti-abortion motion

Earlier this year, he was accused of "hijacking" plans for a new Baby Loss Memorial Book, when he tabled a motion in parliament welcoming the proposal but calling for "more equality for all unborn babies in the future.”

He was disciplined by the party last year over controversial comments around the large-scale anti-abortion protests outside hospitals and clinics across Scotland.

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Mr Mason infuriated colleagues when he claimed women were being "pushed" toward the procedure by medics, and that abortion was “seldom essential or vital”.

In a later interview, he compared some women undergoing abortions as having “effectively found themselves on a conveyor belt”.

The then SNP whips told Mr Mason he had "brought the Parliamentary group into disrepute” and "caused great distress and trauma to many women."

READ MORE: SNP MSP disciplined over claims abortions are pushed on women by NHS

In his interview with the magazine, Mr Mason said he was "not afraid of getting a reaction."

"I just feel on some of these subjects somebody has to speak out. Although I would rather it was a woman speaking,” he added.

Mr Mason also said his close working relationship with Nicola Sturgeon had "cooled" in recent years because of his views on abortion. 

He said: “The SNP was a big tent. That’s what I want it to be. I continue to push for that but amongst parliamentarians and people on the National Executive Committee, it would appear to be that’s now a red line.”Asked about his future and if he would stand again at the next Holyrood election, due to take place in 2026, he said: "I’m 65 now; I’ll be 68 at the next election. I think that may be time to retire. I’m almost certain.”

Mr Mason currently defends a majority of 8,025. He has held the seat since 2011, winning it off of Labour's Frank McAveety. 

He briefly served as the MP for Glasgow East, winning it at a by-election in 2008 after the incumbent Labour MP retired.