Highlands & Islands

Green MSP John Finnie to retire at next election

John Finnie Image copyright Kevin Hamilton

Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie will retire at the next Scottish Parliament election.

The Scottish Greens are selecting candidates for the election in 2021 and Mr Finnie has told the party he will not to seek a further term.

He was first elected to represent the Highlands and Islands in 2011 and re-elected in 2016.

The former police officer and Highland councillor said it was "an honour" to serve the region.

Mr Finnie began his Holyrood career as an SNP MSP in 2011, having joined the party as a 16-year-old.

But he resigned from the SNP in October 2012 over the party's decision to support Nato membership in an independent Scotland. He is opposed to membership of a "first-strike" nuclear alliance.

Following his resignation, Mr Finnie stood as an independent MSP before joining the Scottish Greens in October 2014.

'Enjoyed helping people'

Having been re-elected in 2016, he was joined in the Scottish Parliament by his daughter Ruth Maguire, who represents Cunninghame South for the SNP.

Earlier this year, MSPs backed Mr Finnie's proposal to ban the physical punishment of children in Scotland by removing the defence of "justifiable assault" in Scots law.

Announcing his retirement, Mr Finnie said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family.

He said: "I've been involved in representative politics since being elected a Highland councillor in 2007 and enjoyed helping people, but I feel the time is right to step aside and let others bring their energy and ideas to what is a demanding job.

"Throughout my time in parliament, I've put my home region of the Highlands and Islands and my constituents at the forefront of my work.

"Driven by my interest in social and environmental justice, I have been pleased to secure a number of concessions and legislative changes to improve the lives of people in the region."