Neil Gray resigns for MSP bid – with Richard Leonard standing in same seat

Douglas Barrie, PA Scotland
·1-min read

Neil Gray has officially resigned as Airdrie and Shotts MP ahead of his bid to represent the same area at the Scottish Parliament in the May election.

A statement from the Tresury confirmed the Chancellor of the Exchequer “has this day appointed Neil Charles Gray to be Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead” – one of the ways an MP can stand down.

The SNP member made his final speech at Westminster on Tuesday, explaining a desire to be closer to home had driven his decision with the constituency set for a by-election.

On Wednesday afternoon former Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard announced he was standing as his party’s candidate for Airdrie and Shotts.

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In a video posted to Twitter, he said: “I’ve just lodged my papers at the Civic Centre in Motherwell to be the Scottish Labour candidate for Airdrie and Shotts.

“There is no greater privilege than being selected to be a Labour candidate in a Scottish Parliament election.

“When elections are called the pulse races a bit faster.

“I’m really looking forward to this campaign and delighted to have been nominated by the Labour Party.”

The Scottish Parliament election takes place on Thursday May 6.

Mr Gray replaces former House of Commons Speaker John Bercow as the Steward.