Shuswap MLA George Abbott retiring from politics

Abbott denies government's standing in the polls impacted decision

George Abbott has announced he will not seek another term as Shuswap MLA in the may 2013 provincial election.

George Abbott has announced he will not seek another term as Shuswap MLA in the may 2013 provincial election.

Veteran politician George Abbott is calling it quits.

The Shuswap MLA announced Thursday that he will not seek another term in the May 2013 provincial election.

“The time is right to focus on other interests in my life,” said Abbott, who was first elected MLA in 1996.

Abbott denies his decision is influenced by the Liberal government’s unpopularity.

“The standing in the polls was irrelevant to my personal future,” he said.

Abbott is currently education minister and has previously held the aboriginal relations, health, community services and sustainable resource management portfolios.

He placed third in last year’s campaign to replace Gordon Campbell as Liberal leader and premier.

Also announcing Thursday they are not running again is Mary McNeil, children and family development minister, and John Les, parliamentary secretary to the premier.

Look for more details in Friday’s Morning Star.