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Closing the door on an era as he signs off for Christmas today (Wednesday 20 December) is MSP Alasdair Allan’s office manager Lewis Macaskill.

Lewis has, for eight years, been the right-hand man for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP, first in Stornoway and more recently at Holyrood.

Lewis is as close to an islander as you can get without being born here. He arrived as a 10-year-old when his parents moved back to the home of his grandparents, Donald Macaskill of Flesherin, Point and Christina Finlayson of Marvig, Lochs.

He spent one year at Breasclete Primary School before completing his school life at the Nicolson Institute and was pleased and proud to later start work for the islands’ MSP.

But Lewis’s wife Eilidh’s family are in Ayrshire and, with two young children, he’s keen to spend more time closer to home.

He finishes work for Alasdair Allan at the end of this week and starts the New Year as office manager to Cunninghame North MSP Kenny Gibson, who represents an area of North Ayrshire including Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Largs.

There’ll be some points of familiarity, as Lewis says. “We have the Arran and Millport routes in the constituency, so I’m not finished with ferries.”

Alasdair Allan paid tribute to the Lewis’s skills in a send-off message on social media, where he said: “I have called on him to do everything from helping me paint the office ceiling to negotiating with the Presiding Officer, and he has rarely complained!

“Lewis, who is taking up work with the SNP in the southwest of the country for family reasons, been a friendly face to the public here and I wish him every success for the future.”

welovestornoway.com has also found Lewis a helpful and resourceful contact, and we add our good wishes for the new stage in his career.

The picture shows Lewis Macaskill and Alasdair Allan in festive mood in the constituency office in Stornoway.