Tavish Scott says he’ll miss the “hurley burley” of politics as he steps down as Shetland MSP to join Scottish Rugby

© PATavish Scott
Tavish Scott

Tavish Scott has announced that he will be standing down as MSP for Shetland, taking  a new role outside of politics with Scottish Rugby.

Mr Scott, a former leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has represented the islands since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.

His resignation will trigger a by-election in the seat, where the party had over 67% of the votes at the last election.

In his new role, Mr Scott will oversee Scottish Rugby’s corporate affairs and media operations alongside developing the organisation’s relationships with government, national stakeholders and the member clubs of the Union.

During his 20-year Parliamentary career, Mr Scott held a number of senior positions including Deputy Minister for Scottish Parliament, Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Services and Parliamentary Business and Minister for Transport.

Most recently he has been the Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesman for education and sport.

Mr Scott said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Scottish Rugby at this incredibly exciting time for the sport in Scotland and across the world. To have the opportunity to work for Scottish Rugby is a huge challenge and one that I cannot wait to begin.

“I will miss the hurley burley of politics and the people I have met and represented for 20 years, but there can be no better new beginning than working for Scottish Rugby.”

He added: “Representing the people of Shetland has been my life for 20 years. It has been an enormous privilege and honour to have been Shetland’s MSP since the Scottish Parliament opened in 1999.

“There have been many highlights, wonderful moments and intense political drama that I would not have missed for anything. So on this, the 20th anniversary week of those momentous events, it is the right time for me to change direction.”

Scottish Lib Dems leader Willie Rennie said: “Tavish has been a loyal servant of the Liberal Democrats and the people of Shetland as a parliamentarian, minister and leader.

“I will miss having him beside me in parliament but wish him all the best in his new role.”