Carmichael to review his future after election
Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has confirmed he will review his political future following the next general election.
Mr Carmichael, who has been re-confirmed as Lib Dem candidate for the Northern Isles, said that if he is re-elected he would consider his options after the end of the next parliamentary term.
He has been unanimously re-selected by members of the Orkney and Shetland Liberal Democrats to fight the seat in 2015.
The 48-year-old Scottish Secretary said that he was surprised by the media interest in his disclosure and that he remained full of “enthusiasm and determination” and that any worthy politician should constantly examine their commitment to doing their best for their constituents.
Mr Carmichael added: “I have always said that no politician should consider it a career for life. I would not be standing in the 2015 election if I was not confident that I could do the job fully and enthusiastically for all of that parliamentary term if I am re-elected.”
He was first selected as a candidate for Orkney and Shetland ahead of the 2001 General election, after Jim Wallace stepped down, and has represented the constituency since then.
He added: “I am delighted to be reselected as the Liberal Democrat candidate to stand as MP for 2015, I expect it to be a lively contest and I do not take continued support for granted”
Shetland Liberal Democrat chairman Theo Nicolson said that he was “delighted” with Mr Carmichael’s re-selection and that he had been an excellent servant to Orkney and Shetland in the 13 years he had served as MP.
Mr Carmichael, who rose rapidly through the ranks of hotel management after a first, failed, stint at university, before retraining in law and working as procurator fiscal then in private practice, could not say what future direction he might follow if he decides to give up politics. “By the end of that parliamentary term  I would have been MP for 19 years.”
He emphasised he was not taking anything for granted and that his focus was now very much on winning the 2015 election. He also said that people expected politicians to be open about their intentions and he hoped no one would be surprised by his candour.
“I am probably enjoying the job more now than I have ever done,” he added. “I have now got the experience behind me and I have the chance as a cabinet minister to get stuck in and make a difference.”
Mr Carmichael is leading the coalition defence of the British Union in the run-up to the September independence referendum.
The Islay born MP added: “It’s important for me to do this job on my own terms. If I am asked these questions, I will always answer them. I hope that would not be a massive surprise to people in Shetland.
“I am a candidate in the next election and would only put myself forward if I was satisfied in my own mind that I had the energy and determination to keep doing the job that I am doing now.”