Labour MSP Jenny Marra has announced she will be standing down ahead of next year’s Scottish Parliament election.
The Dundee-based politician cited family commitments as she confirmed she will not seek re-election in 2021.
In a letter to the city’s Labour Party branch, the North East Scotland list MSP confirmed she would not contest the Dundee City West seat.
Ms Marra said her job as a politician is taking her away from her children too frequently during week days, evenings and even weekends.
However she has not ruled out returning to a role within the Labour party in the future and said she would continue to fight to get the party “back to government in Scotland”.
She wrote: “I am writing to inform you of my decision not to seek re-selection on the Labour Party’s North East regional list and to withdraw my candidacy for Dundee City West at the forthcoming Holyrood election.
“As you know, my second son arrived this year. I have decided that my role as MSP takes me away from my young children too much during the week in Edinburgh but also at evening meetings and weekend commitments.
“I know that working mothers everywhere balance commitments, but I have taken the decision to spend these early years with my children and would hope to serve the party again at some point in the future.”
‘Serving Dundee as MSP has been privilege of my life’
She added: “It has been the privilege of my life to represent the people of North East Scotland and to speak on behalf of the citizens of Dundee in many campaigns over my ten years in parliament.
“I am proud to have campaigned long and hard for decommissioning work in Dundee and for greater investment in the city.
“I learned so much from my parliamentary role: chairing the audit committee for the past five years, taking the human trafficking bill to the statute book and standing up for women’s sex-based rights in the face of aggressive challenge.
“For all these opportunities I am grateful to the Labour voters in Dundee and north-east Scotland and to local party members for their trust, advice and support.”
‘Scotland needs strong Labour party’
Ms Marra also said she remains “steadfastly committed” to the Labour party.
She added: “I believe that Scotland needs a strong and appealing Labour party, with ideas to address the economic challenges that Covid has exacerbated, and to challenge the economic inertia of nationalist rule.
“This will take a group of people who can run at this with all the energy and flexibility that political life requires. At the moment, it would not be fair to the party and our voters for me to give less than the 150% that I would wish to.
“I remain steadfastly committed to our party, its values and our goals, as I have been over the last 26 years.
“I intend to continue to play my part in getting Labour back to government in Scotland and the UK to improve public services and give all families the hope of a more secure and prosperous future.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve. It has been a privilege.”
Ms Marra was re-elected to Holyrood as a regional MSP for North East Scotland in 2016 after losing out to the SNP’s Joe FitzPatrick in the Dundee City West seat.
Her departure leaves Labour searching for a new candidate to contest the constituency.
It comes just two months after she called on the party’s Scottish leader Richard Leonard to quit.
She said Scottish Labour risked “catastrophe” without change, adding: “The reality is that you only have a short window in political leadership to make an impression on the public. After three years the party’s standing is getting worse rather than better.”
Ms Marra is not the first Scottish politician to step aside from politics due to family commitments.
Earlier this year, SNP MSP Gail Ross announced she would be stepping down at the 2021 Holyrood election because she wants to watch her son grow up.
Just weeks later communities secretary Aileen Campbell said she would not seek re-election so she could spend more time with her family.