TAVISH Scott, the SRU’s Head of External Affairs, is to leave the governing body for a new post with the fishing industry.

The 54-year-old, who was leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats for three years from 2008, stood down as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Shetland in the middle of last year to take up the newly created position at Murrayfield. He will leave his current job in early November to become the chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation.

“For those of you who know my Shetland background, I have worked with the fish farm industry for 20 years,” Scott said. “So being asked to join their representative body as CEO is logical and [a] super step forward for me. I will miss the world of competitive international sport, and will go back to being a passionate fan again.

“Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest food export. Its value to the economy is immense and it has the ability to help lead Scotland out of the Covid crisis, building on its sustainable foundations and driving a green recovery.”

The SRU’s recruitment of Scott appeared designed to improve relations between the governing body and outside parties such as sponsors and politicians, and was made in the wake of considerable criticism of the way in which the union governed itself. He also did a lot of direct work with the media, and in the SRU handbook was listed as second in the hierarchy of the communications and broadcast department, behind chief operating officer Dominic McKay.

The SRU has yet to decide whether it will seek a replacement for Scott. Chief executive Mark Dodson revealed recently that he aims to make £14 million of savings from the annual budget, and a freeze on recruiting new staff is currently in place at both Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh.