An SNP MSP has announced he will retire at the next Scottish Parliament election after more than 20 years of service.
Stewart Stevenson, who represents Banffshire and Buchan Coast, will be 75 next year and said the time is right to step down.
Mr Stevenson has made more than 820 parliamentary speeches and will have attended over 1,000 Parliamentary Committee meetings and held almost 1,200 advice surgeries for constituents by the time he retires.
During his time in government his roles have included serving as Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change and as Minister for Environment and Climate Change, taking through Scotland’s Climate Change Act in 2009.
He said: “After joining the SNP in 1961 and being elected in 2001 it has been my honour and privilege to serve the people of Banffshire and Buchan Coast as their MSP for the last 20 years. I am incredibly proud over that time to have been a part of many positive changes, both large and small.
“I will miss working with, and for, so many people in the constituency, but for the year next I shall continue to work hard to represent the people of the North-east and I hope to say a personal thank you to the many people who have been part of my life over the years in both the constituency and at Holyrood.
“My leaving Parliament does not mean that I shall be leaving politics.
“Until Scotland can make its own decisions as a normal, independent country, co-operating with friendly neighbours for moral causes, I shall continue to lend my efforts wherever and whenever I can.”
Mr Stevenson was first elected in 2001 to the Banff and Buchan constituency which later became Banffshire and Buchan Coast under boundary changes.
News of his retirement plans came after Brexit Secretary Mike Russell announced on Sunday that he would also stand down at the next Holyrood election.
Fellow SNP MSPs James Dornan, who represents Glasgow Cathcart, and Gail Ross, who represents the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency, have also said in the last week that they will not seek re-election next year.