Ayrshire Post

No surprise family man Bill stands down at next election

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I was disappoint­ed – though I can’t say totally surprised – by Bill Grant’s decision to stand down as Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock’s MP at the next election.

My disappoint­ment is that we will lose a great Member of Parliament – a man with his heart in South Ayrshire and South Ayrshire in his heart.

After years as a local councillor, Bill thought he was heading for litter picking retirement when he stood down.

But then he found himself picked – to be a credible Tory candidate in a constituen­cy his party thought could be wrestled from the SNP. And Bill delivered.

But nowhere is the MP’s job descriptio­n was the gruelling, battling, baffling mess called

Brexit. And in the fall- out, I reckon Bill was torn between his party allegiance . . . and his conscience. Add on that he is a devoted family man – and his decision was eventually inevitable.

Bill’s decision has also denied us what could have been a great electoral battle – almost a replay of the great o’Halloran v Younger contest decades ago. If the SNP have any sense – in fact, it’s the only sense! – they’ll field Allan Dorans at the next election. And watching these old council rivals go head to head would have made great local politics. For the moment, an election has not yet been called - and Bill is still a serving MP.

But if I’m ever going to take up his offer of a pint at the House of Commons bar, it might have to be sooner than later.

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