Housing minister to resign from Scottish Parliament next year

Margaret Burgess
Margaret Burgess

Housing minister Margaret Burgess has decided to retire from the Scottish Parliament at the end of this parliamentary term.

The MSP for Cunninghame South told SNP members in Irvine last week that she is to stand down at next year’s elections.

Representing Irvine, Kilwinning and Stevenston since 2011, Mrs Burgess has been Scotland’s minister for housing and welfare since 2012.

Confirming her resignation to Scottish Housing News, the minister promised it will be “business as usual” until the election as she “will continue to work tirelessly for my constituents and on taking forward the Scottish Government’s programme for government”.

In a statement to the Daily Record, Mrs Burgess: “To represent the people of Irvine, Kilwinning and Stevenston in the Scottish Parliament and to serve as a minister in the Scottish Government continues to be the honour and privilege of my life.

“However, although it has been a difficult decision and I have thought long and hard, I have concluded after having worked for 50 years, that it will the right time to retire at the end of this parliamentary term.

“I have also been a member of the SNP for nearly 50 years and I am delighted that in terms of the recent SNP election successes in both Central Ayrshire and North Ayrshire and Arran and in the local surge in membership, the party - locally as across Scotland - is in good heart.

“In the Scottish Parliament I have had the opportunity to work alongside some really exceptional colleagues, and I will always be grateful for that.

“During my term, the SNP government has much to be proud of - mitigating the effects of Westminster’s bedroom tax, setting up the Scottish Welfare Fund with its Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants, our Council Tax Reduction scheme, ‘Help To Buy’ and more.

“We’ve also seen additional funding for A&E in NHS Ayrshire, as well as funding support for Ayrshire jobs and for regeneration projects in Cunninghame South. More recently, North Ayrshire has been allocated additional funding to improve educational attainment in disadvantaged areas.

“Now, as the constituency moves to select a new SNP candidate for 2016, I am sure that they will choose an effective, capable and enthusiastic contender to be the next MSP for Cunninghame South.

“I can certainly pledge my full support for whoever is selected, and I look forward to joining the new candidate on the campaign trail.

“In the meantime, let me assure everyone that I will continue to work tirelessly to serve people in Irvine, Kilwinning and Stevenston and across Scotland.”


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