Ayrshire Post

MP Bill: I’m not running scared

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Outgoing MP Bill Grant insists he is “not running scared” of defeat at the polls – after pledging to quit his seat.

The Tory sent shockwaves through his constituen­cy last week as he confirmed he won’t be back to fight another election.

But the 68- year- old confidentl­y claimed: “I could have won again.”

Bill, a grandad- of- three, will make way for fresh blood whenever the country goes back to the ballot box.

That is expected to be sooner rather than later and MP Bill says now is the time to bow out gracefully.

He told the Post: “When I won my seat back in 2017, I’ll be the first to say it was unexpected­ly.

“But I relished the opportunit­y to serve and would like to think I’ve done my best.

“However, I’m also a realist and there is always a bigger picture to look at. “When it comes to my health, I have pushed my luck down the years and am only six years removed from a double heart bypass.

“Were I to stand again and win, I’d be 73 come the next election and I think this is, on balance, the right call.”

Bill, a former South Ayrshire councillor, insists he has no interest in returning to the seat of local power at County Buildings.

And he laughed off claims from SNP’s Westminste­r leader Ian Blackford that he is getting out of politics before he was beaten by the Nationalis­ts.

Former MP Corri Wilson and Allan Dorans will battle to stand for the Nats in the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock seat.

But former fireman Bill claimed: “With the greatest of respect to my potential opponents, they would have held no fears for me.

“I am certainly not running scared and my decision is not based on the direction of travel of the country or Boris Johnson.

“It has not been an easy journey in parliament but it is one I have always given my very best towards.

“If I had one regret it would be not getting to Westminste­r when I was younger in life. But I have enjoyed the experience immensely and wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Bill, who shuns first class travel to the Houses of Parliament, joked: “I get the train up and down the road every week on my standard class ticket.

“I think there is a perception of MPs enjoying certain trappings but that’s never been me.

“I’ve only claimed one taxi bill in the two and a half years I’ve been there.

“I just view myself as the wee boy from Littlemill Primary who’s done not too badly for himself.

“And I’ve been blown away by the kind reaction of so many people since I announced my decision last week.

“That means more to me than anything.”

As the Post revealed last week, current South Ayrshire Council Tory leader Martin Dowey heads the race to replace Mr Grant as candidate.

Dowey said: “Bill Grant spent his life running towards fires so he certainly isn’t running scared of this challenge.

“While I’m flattered to be linked with the seat, it is a decision for the associatio­n to be taken in due course.”

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 ??  ?? Quackers Bill helps the Rotary Club of Alloway launch their Duck Race. Zany insets included the hot tub and champage pic - which haunted him
Quackers Bill helps the Rotary Club of Alloway launch their Duck Race. Zany insets included the hot tub and champage pic - which haunted him
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 ??  ?? Patriot Bill in his Union Flag suit at the Scottish Internatio­nal Airshow in 2016
Patriot Bill in his Union Flag suit at the Scottish Internatio­nal Airshow in 2016
 ??  ?? Rugby fan Bill ( centre) with Ayr coach Pete Murchie and Pete McCallum
Rugby fan Bill ( centre) with Ayr coach Pete Murchie and Pete McCallum
 ??  ?? They’re off Bill starts the Ayr Pretty Muddy 5K Race For Life in 2018
They’re off Bill starts the Ayr Pretty Muddy 5K Race For Life in 2018
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