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An article from this week's John O' Groats Journal about John Archibald
Sinclair (Viscount Thurso);
Maclennan set to step down as MSP
Local MP Robert Maclennan, who has represented Caithness, Sutherland and
latterly Easter Ross for 34 years, is to stand down at the next General
Election. He made his announcement yesterday, pointing out that his role in
the House of Commons has changed since the establishment of the Scottish
Parliament. Mr Maclennan, 64, a barrister, said his decision would give the
constituency the opportunity to elect someone with "fresh perspectives on
what is in some ways a new job". Viscount Thurso, convener of the Liberal
Democrats constituency party, paid tribute to the "exceptional dedication"
with which the MP had served Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross at
Westminster. News of Mr Maclennan's retirement came in a letter to the
Liberal peer, who replied: "Almost every part of the constituency has
benefited from your commitment to its well being. I know from personal
experience of your remarkable advocacy and tenacity in pursuing the interests
of all your constituents. You are a role model for any aspiring Member of
Parliament." Viscount Thurso, who is being tipped as possible successor to Mr
Maclennan for the Liberal Democrat nomination, told Mr Maclennan he had
played an important role in national politics.
Mr Maclennan became an MP ion 1966 when he won Caithness and Sutherland for
the Labour Party, defeating the sitting MP George Mackie by just 64 votes.
During the 1970s he served as a Junior Minister at the Department of Prices
and Consumer Protection. He defected from the Labour in the early 1980s
during its years of turmoil to help form the Social Democrats and briefly led
the party following the resignation of Dr David Owen. When the SDP and
Liberal Party merged to become the Liberal Democrats, Mr Maclennan
subsequently became the part president.
I have also ordered and received a book called "Caithness Remembered" a
pictorial view of Caithness at the close of 1999, by North of Scotland
Newspapers. Fred Sinclair of Old Pulteney, John Sinclair of Caithness Creels,
and Don Sinclair, a pigeon trainer are featured.
Enjoy Canada Day, Repeal of Proscription Day, and America's Independence Day.
Donald Sinclair (Indianapolis)
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