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‘A great privilege’ – MP bows out

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By Fiona Reid
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'A great privilege' - MP bows out

OUTGOING Dumfries and Galloway constituency MP Alister Jack has described feeling ‘greatly privileged’ to have had the opportunity to represent his native area.

He officially steps down this week after two terms at Westminster where he served on the Treasury Select Committee, in the Whips office and ultimately served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Scotland for the last five years.

Mr Jack said: “It has been an honour and a memorable experience to represent what I consider one of the most attractive and friendliest parts of the British Isles.

“It has also been a challenging few years nationally and globally, not least because of the pandemic, overseas conflicts and climatic trends. All these have had an impact on life in our own local communities.

“It has been satisfying for me to see the groundwork in place on major projects across the region, costing many millions of pounds, including in the main towns, Dumfries and Stranraer. UK Levelling Up and Borderlands Growth Deal funding have proved a game-changer for a number of developments.

“One significant hope I have is that my successor as MP will have the opportunity to further help progress improvements on the A75 and A77, which have now been acknowledged nationally as strategically vital routes. The UK Government has already made available £8 million to finance a feasibility study to examine by-passing Crocketford and Springholm.

“I was also pleased to secure a commitment for an investment zone, which could jointly-boost the economies of south-west Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Mr Jack, a businessman and farmer, who was brought up in the Dalbeattie area and lives near Dumfries, had previously indicated his aim to complete two terms in the House of Commons and he has, in fact, served under four Prime Ministers.

Marking his 61st birthday this summer, the Conservative politician explained he hopes to spend more time with his wife Ann, three grown-up children and extended family as well as pursuing a range of interests.

He said: “I’d like to publicly express my thanks to Ann and the rest of my family for their support along with my team. 

“I’ve done my utmost to assist the many constituents who have contacted me over the years and, although there were sometimes no easy solutions, I hope I have been able to make a difference.

“I firmly agree with the important principle that after an election is over an MP’s duty is to assist all constituents whatever their political views and that’s what I’ve always tried to do.”

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