Scottish Labour MSP Richard Baker has today stood down from the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Baker had already announced he would not seek re-election in May. He leaves Parliament to take up a new policy role with Age Scotland, having previously worked with Help the Aged before entering Holyrood.

Scottish Labour will nominate Lesley Brennan, the next person on the North East list, to replace Mr Baker. Lesley Brennan is a Councillor in Dundee.

In an email to party members, Richard Baker said:

“Having worked for Help the Aged before I was elected, I am particularly delighted to start a new challenge with a charity which does so much for older people in Scotland.

“I want to thank members again for their support over the years and my colleagues in Parliament. I am delighted the final leader I have served under is one of our own from the North East. I was pleased to support Kez not only as a friend but for the great ability she brings to her role and know you will support her and the rest of the team in the months ahead.”

Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“Richard Baker is a good friend and we will be sad to see him leave Holyrood. Parliament’s loss is Age Scotland’s gain. He has been a strong advocate for the North East and a source of great support for me personally throughout the years.

“I wish Richard all the best in his new role, and know that he will be a major asset to the vital campaign work of ensuring older people get the best from our government.”

Councillor Lesley Brennan said:

“I want to pay tribute to the work of Richard Baker throughout the years. He has been a tireless champion for social justice throughout his career, and I wish him well with Age Scotland.

“These are challenging times for Scottish Labour, but in Kez Dugdale we have a new leader who is best placed to regain the trust of the people of Scotland. We will go into this election with a very positive message – that using the new powers heading to Holyrood we can transform the lives of families in Scotland. I look forward to playing my part in the campaign and standing up for the people of the North East in the Scottish Parliament.”