The Falkirk North Councillor was recently re-elected with the largest First Preference Vote of any candidate in Falkirk district and has led the SNP within the council since 1992′
However, Councillor Alexander has decided to step aside from the leadership role he has held for the last two decades but is likely to play a major role in the YES campaign for independence in the run up to the 2014 referendum. The SNP stalwart said,
“Alex Salmond said that a political leader had a shelf life of around ten years, well I’ve led the SNP Group within Falkirk Council for twenty years and its time for a change.
It has certainly been an eventful 20 years with many more ups than downs and I believe that I leave behind a stronger group than the one I took on the leadership of all those years ago.
I look at the talent within the SNP Group and I am excited. We have a good mix of young articulate Councillors with all the energy and ambition they bring added to the wisdom brought to the table our more experienced members have
This therefore seems like an opportune moment to step aside and allow that talent to come through.”
The community I represent are very dear to me and I will be working even harder in their interests. The support both myself and my fellow Falkirk North SNP Councillor, Cecil Meiklejohn, received on May 3 was truly humbling.
It is worth remembering that Cecil was the only Councillor to actually increase the number of first preference votes she received from 2007 on a much reduced turnout.”
When questioned on the timing of his decision Councillor Alexander admitted that the launch of the YES campaign for the forthcoming independence referendum was a major factor in his decision. A lifelong advocate for independence the lure of the referendum to be held in 2014 is a strong one.
“All of my political life I have campaigned and for a fairer society, the type of society that protects the most vulnerable.
The goal of a socially just Scotland can only come with independence and so much is at stake that I want to play a role in the campaign that delivers the powers for our parliament that will make Falkirk and the rest of Scotland a better place.”
Tributes were paid by both Falkirk MSPs. Former Councillor and now MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald said,
“David’s contribution to politics locally has been immense. As a Falkirk bairn born and bred he has been 100% committed to moving Falkirk district forward. His political skills as well as his vision for Falkirk will be missed as he returns to the back benches.
From a personal level, without David’s support and encouragement I would not have progressed politically, and for that I am indebted to him.
David, I am sure, will continue to make a positive contribution to the work of the SNP group and Falkirk Council, and is now able to concentrate fully on his constituents in Falkirk North, for whom he is an outstanding representative.
David’s contribution to the well-being of Falkirk district’s citizens has been exemplary and I am sure he will continue to stand up for local residents whenever he sees injustices, of which I am sure there will be many over the next five years.
Falkirk West MSP, Michael Matheson added,
“David has been a brilliant leader of our council group. He took the group into administration during which time he demonstrated a real vision for the Falkirk Council area. In this years council elections he helped lead a campaign that resulted in the SNP getting more votes across the Falkirk area than any other party, for the first time. He will be a tough act to follow, however we have a very talented group of councillors and I have no doubt the new group leader will hold the new Labour/Tory coalition to account.
“I look forward to continuing to work with David in the years to come in representing our local constituents.”
A new leader will be elected on 11 June.