MIDLOTHIAN Labour MP David Hamilton is to stand down at the general election.
In a letter to local party members, the former miner said he was making the announcement with “a great deal of pride, tinged with some considerable sadness.”
Mr Hamilton, 64, has been MP for the area since 2001 and is a Labour whip in the Commons.
In his letter, he said: “I am proud of how Labour in Midlothian worked flat out to protect Midlothian’s working class from the separatists, securing a no vote in every ward in the County.”
He also cited the Midlothian East council by-election, won by Labour candidate Kenny Young, as evidence of the party’s strength in the area.
He continued: “It is against this successful backdrop - and with considerable regret - that I announce today that after much soul-searching, I have decided not to contest the Midlothian seat at this year’s General Election.
“I believe that it is the right time for me to stand aside to allow the Labour Party in Midlothian to select a younger member, with fresh ideas and the hunger to meet the challenges of this changed landscape.”
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy described Mr Hamilton as “a gentle giant of the Labour movement” who went about his politics with real integrity.
Mr Murphy said: “As a whip he has not been able to speak in Parliament yet his campaigning for justice for miners has given a voice to the injustice of blacklisting.
“He has served Midlothian brilliantly for the past 14 years. I’d like to wish Davie, Jean and their family all the very best. Midlothian’s next MP has huge shoes to fill. “