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Mr McLellan, 59, who underwent open heart surgery six years ago, had been invited to stand again in the ward in May 2022.
He has declined to continue as a councillor and announced his intention to concentrate on his media and academic work.
Mr McLellan rarely missed an opportunity to question the leadership and management of Edinburgh City Council and is described as a ‘robust and worthy opponent’ by one long-serving councillor.
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A former Editor of the Evening News and its sister titles, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, Mr McLellan was also Editor-in-chief of Scotsman Publications. He is also director, of the Scottish Newspaper Society(SNS) an honorary professor of journalism and the University of Stirling where he takes an active role in the education of future generations of journalists.
Mr McLellan left Scotsman Publications in 2012 and became director of communications for the Scottish Conservatives before taking over as SNS director in September 2013. He also served as chair of the SNS editors’ committee, as a Press Complaints Commissioner and as a member of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Committee
Speaking about the decision to stand down, he said: “I've been privileged to serve Craigentinny & Duddingston, having topped the poll in 2017, and working with my ward colleagues we have helped give local issues the prominence they deserved.
"It has been fascinating to see the workings of the council from the inside after years of observing from the outside, but it has been increasingly difficult to combine council work with my other interests and family life.
"If, as I earnestly hope, the dreadful SNP-Labour coalition is brought to an end in May and the Conservative Group forms a sensible administration, the call on my time would only increase and make managing my other roles impossible.
"I hope to continue as a columnist and commentator, but there is also a lot of work needed to strengthen public interest journalism in Scotland, with an important report due for publication next week, and I'm hoping to play a very active role in taking forward its recommendations."