Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Labour’s Richard Baker to quit Holyrood

Richard Baker
Richard Baker

North-east MSP Richard Baker has announced he will quit Holyrood next year after losing his bid to become Scottish Labour’s deputy leader.

Mr Baker has represented the region since 2003 but revealed last night that he would not seek re-election next May.

He said he had reached the decision after what had been the “most momentous” year of his career.

The 41-year-old played a key role in the Better Together referendum campaign in the north-east, before suffering defeat in his attempt to become the MP for Aberdeen North in May, and losing out in the deputy leadership contest last month.

In a memo to Labour activists last night, Mr Baker said: “I have had great support from members and from so many people and organisations in our region since I was elected in 2003, and this is a decision I have come to only after a great deal of consideration.

“I want to thank you all for all the help and encouragement you have given me during my time in parliament and I would like you to know just how much I appreciate it.”

He added: “In my 12 years in Holyrood there is no doubt that the past year has been the most momentous, with the referendum, general election and our own leadership elections.

“Clearly this has been a very challenging time for our party, but we can reflect on a substantial victory across the north-east as a whole in making the case against separation and for solidarity within the UK.

“Our new leadership team in Holyrood gives us the chance to take a new approach in holding the SNP to account.”

Born in Edinburgh, Mr Baker went to school in Cumbria before moving to the north-east to attend Aberdeen University.

He served as senior vice-president at the University of Aberdeen Students’ Representative Council in 1995/96, before being elected president of the National Union of Students Scotland between 1998 to 2000.

Mr Baker was the youngest sitting MSP when he was elected in 2003, and went on to serve as shadow finance spokesman.

At May’s election he attempted to succeed Frank Doran as Labour MP for Aberdeen North but was defeated by the SNP’s Kirsty Blackman, who secured a 13,396 majority.

He subsequently stood for the deputy leadership of Scottish Labour, but was eliminated in the first round of voting, receiving 30.4% of the vote compared to Gordon Matheson on 32.% and eventual winner Alex Rowley on 37.4%.

Mr Baker, who is married to fellow Labour MSP Claire Baker, said last night that he would remain a party member, but that he did not envisage his next job would be in politics.

Already a subscriber? Sign in