Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson makes his final speech to the Scottish Parliament
Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has made his final speech to the Scottish Parliament after a career spanning two decades.
Mr Stevenson, who previously worked in Information Technology for the Bank of Scotland for 30 years before pursuing a career in politics, has been a campaigner for independence and a member of the SNP since 1961.
After standing as a candidate he became the constituency MSP for the Banff and Buchan from 2001 till 2011.
Following boundary changes he has been the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast since 2011.
Mr Stevenson has also held Ministerial roles during his time in the Scottish Parliament including as the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and as Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change.
He announced his plans to retire last year and will now pursue a number of personal projects as well as the newly-elected National Secretary for the SNP following his election in October 2020.
In his final speech to the Scottish Parliament Mr Stevenson spoke in the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee Debate on the Scottish Government’s Climate Change plan.
Mr Stevenson paid tribute to a number of colleagues including former Scottish Conservatives MSPs Alex Fergusson and Alex Johnstone who “departed before their time”.
In his final speech – which was his 853rd since becoming an MSP – Mr Stevenson said he would continue to remain passionate about climate change and called for work to ensure a transition from oil and gas which would ensure an equal jobs market. He also called for support for other countries across the globe who would be impacted by the western world’s use of fossil fuels and its global impact on climate change.
And Mr Stevenson, who has been a keen genealogist for six decades, revealed he and Scottish Government Minister Jenny Gilruth are distantly related after making the discovery during research.
Mr Stevenson said: “It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve as the MSP for Banff and Buchan and latterly Banffshire and Buchan Coast, and I have been honoured to represent the Scottish Government as both the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Transport.”
Paying tribute to colleagues past and present, he added : “The role of an MSP is to challenge and change and represent the people of your constituency with determination to improve their lives for the better.
“We should encourage more people from all walks of life to pursue a role in politics including the continued encouragement of women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities so that the Parliament is one which represents us all.
“I know I leave the Scottish Parliament in good hands in the pursuit of a fairer, more equal society for all and one that we can be proud to leave for the future generations to come.
“To the people of Banffshire and Buchan Coast who have made this job what it is I would like to say thank you and farewell for now.”