Labour MSP John Park to quit Holyrood for trade union post

John Park John Park will quit as an MSP at the end of the week

Labour MSP John Park is quitting the Scottish Parliament to take up a full-time trade union post.

Mr Park, who ran his party's 2011 election campaign, is stepping down as a regional member in Mid Scotland and Fife on 7 December.

He has taken up the role of policy and strategy director for the trade union Community.

Mr Park will be automatically replaced at Holyrood by the next Labour candidate on the list, Jayne Baxter.

Mr Park, who left school at the age of 15 to work as a trainee electrical fitter at Fife's Rosyth Dockyard, and later became a union official, said it had been an "enormous privilege" to represent the people in his area.

He added: "This is a decision that I have not made lightly and I now have the opportunity to represent thousands of workers across the UK.

Start Quote

He will be a loss to parliament and also to the Labour cause - although his career trajectory would suggest that potential loss is not fully appreciated”

End Quote

"I've tried to use my time in politics to make sure the issues important to working people - jobs, apprenticeships and a living wage - are centre stage.

"Now, as workers are under attack like never before, I am returning to my union roots to fight at the coal face"

Mr Park, who became an MSP in 2007, said he wished the Labour MSPs and leader Johann Lamont the best in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum.

Ms Lamont said: "John will be a loss to the Scottish Parliament, but I understand his reasons for stepping down and I know he will continue to play a significant role in the Labour movement."

Community general secretary Michael Leahy said: "I know this has been a difficult decision for John but I am delighted that he is returning to the trade union movement.

"His voice will be a powerful addition for our members."

Mr Park's contribution to parliament was praised by SNP, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MSPs.

His successor at Holyrood, Ms Baxter, represents the Cowdenbeath ward on Fife Council.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland politics stories


Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A robotClick Watch

    The latest in robotics including software that can design electronics to solve problems

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.