Tributes have been paid after the North-east’s longest-serving MP confirmed he plans to stand down at the next election.
Sir Malcolm Bruce was first elected as MP for Gordon in 1983, having previously contested North Angus and Mearns and West Aberdeenshire. He has been elected seven times for Gordon.
The MP was made a Privy Councillor in 2005 and was knighted in last year’s Jubilee Birthday Honours. He recently celebrated 30 years as an MP.
Sir Malcolm said: “It will be strange not being a candidate for the first time in over 40 years but I believe it is right to stand down when I am still enjoying what I do and have energy for other things.
“I have spent ten years away from home in my time as an MP and, having a young family, I hope I can give them more time and attention.
“I joined the Liberal Party as a student because I did not believe that other parties championed Liberal values which represent the greatest political philosophy Britain, and especially Scotland, have given to the world.
He added: “I am pleased to have played a part in delivering a Scottish Parliament. When I joined the party we had six MPs and a small national vote.
“It pleases me to have been part of a process that has seen the party grow to a truly national movement and a party of Government delivering policies I helped develop.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “Sir Malcolm has represented his constituents in Gordon and the Scottish Liberal Democrats with distinction over the past 30 years.
“He has made a substantial contribution to Scottish and British politics over this period, not least as chair of the international development select committee.
“Malcolm has been a stalwart of our party over the past 30 years. He has worked tirelessly for his constituents since first elected I am certain he will continue to do so until his last day in office.”
North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes also paid tribute to her fellow parliamentarian:
She said: “Malcolm has been a steady rock for me, particularly when I was newly elected to Holyrood.
“His extensive knowledge and sound advice have been invaluable to me. Indeed, not only to me, but to the thousands of constituents he has helped over the years.”
Tributes were also paid by other parties.
Ellon and District SNP councillor Richard Thomson, who as the SNP candidate came second to Sir Malcolm at the 2010 general election, said that the MP had served his party and his constituents well at Westminster.
He added: “In all my dealings with Sir Malcolm, both during what was a hard-fought election campaign and even afterwards when I became a local journalist, he was always a class act.
“Even in the Lib Dems’ post-coalition troubles, he always stood out as someone who could be relied upon to make a good case for his party.”