SUSAN Aitken will not be standing in the Scottish Parliament’s election next year, the Evening Times can reveal.

There has been speculation the Glasgow city council leader may throw her hat into the ring to be selected as the SNP’s candidate for Glasgow Cathcart.

She is a member of the SNP’s Glasgow Cathcart branch and represents the ward of Langside which sits in the Holyrood constituency.

James Dornan, the SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, announced last month he would be standing down ahead of the poll in May next year.

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But Ms Aitken has told the Glasgow Times she will not be entering the race citing her commitments with Scotland’s biggest local authority.

She said: “I won’t be putting my name forward for any Holyrood seat. Far too much to be getting on with in the job I’ve got.”

Mr Dornan, 66, gave his age and wish to spend more time with his family for his decision not to stand for election again.

SNP bosses are likely to make the list of possible candidates for Glasgow Cathcart a female-only one in a move to increase the number of women in the Scottish Parliament.

Currently, women make up 35 per cent of all MSPs, though both the SNP and Labour have higher proportions - 43 per cent and 46 per cent respectively as a result of measure the two parties have taken to improve gender balance.

Just 19 per cent of Tory MSPs are women, while only one of the four Lib Dems MSPs is female - Beatrice Wishart, who was elected in the Shetland by election last year after the sitting Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott stepped down.

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Only one of the six Scottish Greens MSPs is a woman - Alison Johnstone.

Fellow Glasgow SNP councillors Rhiannon Spear, who represents the Pollok ward, and Anna Richardson, who represents Langside, are also been urged to put themselves forward.

Spear is also the SNP’s women’s convener, while Richardson is the city council’s convener for sustainability and carbon reduction.

Jennifer Layden, the SNP councillor for Calton, is also been discussed in party circles as a possible Holyrood hopeful.

Six SNP MSPs have to date announced they will be standing down ahead of next year’s election.

In addition to Dornan, those leaving Holyrood are Cabinet minister Michael Russell and backbenchers Richard Lyle, Stewart Stevenson, Bruce Crawford and Gail Ross.

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, Labour’s Neil Findlay and the Scottish Greens’ John Finnie have also announced they will not be standing for re-election.