Scotland politics

Scottish Conservative MP Bill Grant to stand down at election

Bill Grant Image copyright UK Parliament

A Scottish Conservative MP has announced he will stand down at the next general election.

Bill Grant won the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock seat in 2017 after overturning a large SNP majority.

But he said he would not be seeking re-election whenever the next general election is called.

In a letter to his local Conservative association, Mr Grant said it had always been his intention to serve just one term in Parliament.

The 68-year-old 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."

Mr Grant said he was " immensely proud and privileged" to have represented the area in the Commons.

He wished the next MP for the area "the best of luck" as he vowed to stay involved in the local community "even if it is just to go back to the litter-picking".

Before entering politics, Mr Grant served in the fire service for 31 years and was the deputy commander of the Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service.

He overturned a majority of more than 15,000 votes to defeat the SNP's Corri Wilson at the last election.

Mr Grant backed Remain ahead of the EU referendum, and voted in favour of Theresa May's Brexit deal in the House of Commons.

He supported Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt in the Conservative leadership contest - but has criticised opponents of Prime Minister Boris Johnson who have attempted to remove the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Parliament was officially suspended for five weeks on Monday night, with MPs not due back until 14 October. It has been widely predicted that a general election will be held by the end of the year.