Leading Tory MSP Adam Tomkins has announced he is to quit Holyrood at next year’s Scottish election.
The prominent Conservative said it will be a “wrench” to leave his role as an MSP, but he plans to return to being a law professor at Glasgow University.
He continued his position as John Millar Professor of Public Law on a part-time basis after being elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016, and intends to take on that role full-time when he steps down.
The Glasgow region MSP said his reasons for leaving Parliament are personal.
He said: “Serving as one of our party’s elected representatives for Glasgow has been an enormous privilege and leaving the Scottish Parliament in 2021 will be a wrench.
“I am not leaving the Parliament for political reasons. I wish Jackson (Carlaw) and his team every success.
“My reasons are personal, to do with the work I want to pursue in the coming years and to do with the kind of father I aspire to be to my four children.
“I know that I will be stepping down in circumstances where the party is so much stronger than it was five years ago.”
Mr Tomkins was one of 31 Conservative MSPs elected to Holyrood in 2016 in what was a record result for the party – then led by Ruth Davidson.
That saw the Tories overtake Labour to become the main opposition party in the Parliament.
With the polls suggesting the SNP could win a fourth term in May’s ballot, Mr Tomkins stressed there is a “momentous election in only nine months’ time”.
He added: “Between now and then we must all work tirelessly to ensure that we return and elect the highest possible number of Conservative candidates, not only in Glasgow, but right across the country.”
Jackson Carlaw, who became the Scottish Conservative leader after Ms Davidson quit last August, said: “I would like to thank Adam both for his personal support and advice and also for the immense contribution he has made to the Scottish Conservative parliamentary group and the party as a whole.
“Adam has been an invaluable source of energy and intellect, compassion and humour.”
Prior to being elected to Holyrood, Mr Tomkins was a Conservative representative on the Smith Commission on devolution, set up by then prime minister David Cameron in the wake of the 2014 independence referendum.
He went on to serve as the Tory spokesman on the constitution in Holyrood, with Mr Carlaw saying: “While Adam has made important interventions on the union, his work on social deprivation, drug addiction and live music in Glasgow truly demonstrate the breadth of his interests and capability. We will all miss him and we wish him well.”