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by Staff reporter
21 June 2017
Profiles of the new Scottish MPs

Profiles of the new Scottish MPs


Andrew Bowie (Con)
West Aberdeenshire & 
Majority: 7,950 
Replacing: Stuart Blair Donaldson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 7,033 ​

Background: A former navy officer, Bowie was the Tory campaign manager for the North of Scotland during the 2015 general election as well as for the Better Together campaign during the independence referendum.

Political career: He was assistant to Tory MEP Ian Duncan in Brussels before moving to Holyrood to work for MSP Liam Kerr.

Colin Clark (Con)
Majority: 2,607 
Replacing: Alex Salmond (SNP)
2015 Majority: 8,687 

Background: Clark bought into a business selling fresh produce at the age of just 24, building it up before selling it in 2003 and returning to the north east to take over his family’s farm. 

Political career: Clark stood in Aberdeenshire East in last year’s Holyrood election but came second to the SNP. He was elected councillor in Aberdeenshire Council in a by-election in November 2016

David Duguid (Con)
Banff & Buchan
Majority: 3,693 
Replacing: Dr Eilidh Whiteford (SNP)
2015 Majority: 14,339 

Background: Duguid worked as a management consultant and has wide-ranging experience in the oil and gas business in different locations. 

Political career: He previously campaigned for local council elections and made fishing a key issue in his general election campaign.

Luke Graham (Con)
Ochil & South Perthshire
Majority: 3,359 
Replacing: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (SNP)
2015 Majority: 10,168 

Background: Graham worked as an accountant and was Director of Finance for the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.

Political career: Graham stood unsuccessfully in this seat in the 2015 election. He was active during the independence referendum and has campaigned with MSPs and councillors across Ochil & South Perthshire. 

Bill Grant (Con)
Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock
Majority: 2,774 
Replacing: Corri Wilson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 11,265 

Background: Grant was born, raised and educated in East Ayrshire and served as a fireman in Ayr for more than 30 years. He was also a justice of the peace for ten years on the former Ayr District Court. He is a member of the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society, the Alloway Rotary, the Ayr Classic Motorcycle Club and the Ayr Building Preservation Trust. 

Political career: He was elected councillor on South Ayrshire Council in 2007 and again in 2012. He stood down in 2017. He previously stood as the Conservative Party candidate in the 2010 general election. 

Kirstene Hair (Con)
Majority: 2,644 
Replacing: Mike Weir (SNP)
2015 Majority: 11,230 

Background: Hair was born in Angus to a farming family. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in politics in 2011. She was an executive assistant for publishers DC Thomson.

Political career: Hair was formerly a party official and organised the Scottish Conservative conference in 2013. She stood for election in 2016 for the Scottish Parliament but was unsuccessful.

Alister Jack (Con)
Dumfries & Galloway
Majority: 5,643 
Replacing: Richard Arkless (SNP)
2015 Majority: 6,514 

Background: Farmer and businessman Jack was born and educated in Dumfries. He made his business in self-storage, making an estimated £20m fortune through his company, Armadillo. He lives in Courance, near Lockerbie with his wife and has three children. 

Political career: Jack stood unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in the Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale seat in 1997’s general election. He was also vice-chairman of the Scottish Conservatives during William Hague’s leadership (1997-2001).

Stephen Kerr (Con)
Majority: 148 
Replacing: Steven Paterson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 10,480 

Background: Born in Dundee and raised in Forfar, Kerr runs his own sales business. He is married with four children.

Political career: Kerr previously stood as a Conservative candidate in the 2005 and 2015 general elections. As chairman of the Stirling Conservative Association, he is a committed community activist. 

John Lamont (Con)
Berwickshire, Roxburgh 
& Selkirk 
Majority: 11,060 
Replacing: Calum Kerr (SNP)
2015 Majority: 328 

Background: Born in Irvine and raised in Kilwinning, Lamont graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first class degree in law. He has worked as a solicitor in both London and Edinburgh. 

Political career: Lamont was the chairman of his local Conservative association and stood in the general election in 2005, 2010 and 2015. He was elected as MSP in 2007 and resigned in 2017 ahead of the snap general election. In the Scottish Parliament, he was the Scottish Conservative Chief Whip and Parliamentary Business Manager. 

Paul Masterson (Con)
East Renfrewshire 
Majority: 4,712 
Replacing: Kirsten Oswald (SNP)
2015 Majority: 3,718 

Background: Masterton attended the University of Dundee and worked as a solicitor in Glasgow, specialising in pension law.

Political career: Masterton heads his local Conservative association branch, and ran unsuccessfully in the Holyrood elections in 2016.

Douglas Ross (Con)
Majority: 4,159 
Replacing: Angus Robertson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 9,065 

Background: Ross is a professional assistant football referee and previously worked as a dairy farmer.

Political career: Ross was elected to Moray Council in 2007 and was subsequently elected as a list MSP for the Highlands and Islands region in 2016. He was the Scottish Conservative justice spokesman.

Ross Thomson (Con)
Aberdeen South
Majority: 4,752 
Replacing: Callum McCaig (SNP)
2015 Majority: 7,230 

Background: Thomson was born and educated in Aberdeen, he graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2009 with a first in politics and international relations. He has been in a civil partnership since 2013. 

Political career: Thomson has stood in a number of elections since 2007 and was elected to Aberdeen City Council in 2012. He became a list MSP in 2016 and was the Scottish Conservative spokesman for further education, higher education and science. During the EU referendum, he headed up the campaign organisation Vote Leave in Scotland.


Hugh Gaffney (Lab)
Coatbridge, Chryston 
& Bellshill
Majority: 1,586 (.3.5%)
Replacing: Philip Boswell (SNP)
2015 Majority: 11,501 ​​

Background: Gaffney is a postal worker with strong union links, serving as the Scottish Political Officer for the Communications Workers Union as well as secretary of the Trade Union Council in North Lanarkshire.

Political career: Gaffney was elected councillor for North Lanarkshire Council in May 2017.

Ged Killen (Lab)
Rutherglen & Hamilton 
Majority: 265 
Replacing: Margaret Ferrier (SNP)
2015 Majority: 9,975 

Background: Educated in Rutherglen, Killen ran his own business for five years before being elected to South Lanarkshire Council.

Political career: Killen joined the Labour Party in 2007 and held office-bearers’ positions within the local ranks. He was elected as councillor for Rutherglen South in 2013 at the age of 26. He was then re-elected in 2017. 

Lesley Laird (Lab)
Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath
Majority: 259 
Replacing: Roger Mullin (SNP)
2015 Majority: 9,974 

Background: Laird was born and educated in Greenock, and went on to study at James Watt College, Caledonian University and Napier University. Before becoming a councillor, Laird worked in the electronic, semiconductor and financial service industries in a variety of senior human resources roles. She is a qualified management coach and a member of the trade union Unison. 

Political career: Laird was elected as a councillor in Fife Council in 2012.

Danielle Rowley (Lab)
Majority: 885 
Replacing: Owen Thompson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 9,859 

Background: Born and bred in Dalkeith, Rowley is a journalism graduate of Edinburgh Napier University (2014). She has worked as Campaigns and Public Affairs Officer at Shelter Scotland. She is the daughter of Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, Alex Rowley. 

Political career: Rowley was Gordon Brown’s constituency media manager and a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. 

Paul Sweeney (Lab)
Glasgow North East 
Majority: 242 
Replacing: Anne McLaughlin (SNP)
2015 Majority: 9,222 

Background: Hailing from a family of ship builders, Sweeney received a first class honours degree in Economic History and Politics at the University of Glasgow. He worked as a senior operations executive at Scottish Enterprise. He is also a member of the Territorial Army and previously worked for BAE Systems at the Govan and Scotstoun shipyards.

Political career: Sweeney joined the Labour Party when he was 16 years old and has taken an active role in his community, including as secretary of a charitable trust working to restore the historic Victorian winter garden in his local park.

Martin Whitfield (Lab)
East Lothian 
Majority: 3,083 
Replacing: George Kerevan (SNP)
2015 Majority: 6,803 

Background: Born in Newcastle, Whitfield studied in Edinburgh. He worked as a lawyer before turning his hand to teaching, where he took up a post at Prestonpans Primary School. He is a member of the EIS union.

Political career: Whitfield has been a community activist in his local area and is chairman of Prestonpans Community Council, as well as the organiser of Prestonpans ‘RotaKids’ with the local Rotary.

Liberal Democrats

Christine Jardine (Lib)
Edinburgh West
Majority: 2,988 
Replacing: Michelle Thomson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 3,210 ​

Background: Jardine has been a journalist, broadcaster and university teacher and moved to Edinburgh in 2016. 

Political career: She previously stood across the country in both Holyrood and Westminster elections, notably in 2015, when she attempted to unseat Alex Salmond. During the coalition government, she was adviser to Nick Clegg.

Jamie Stone (Lib)
Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross 
Majority: 2,044 
Replacing: Dr Paul Monaghan (SNP)
2015 Majority: 3,844 

Background: Stone has a degree in history and geology from the University of St Andrews and previously worked in the oil industry. He is married with three children.

Political career: Stone was an MSP from 1999 until his resignation in 2011 due to family matters. He was the party spokesperson on housing, as well as the deputy party spokesman on health. He was then elected councillor in 2012 in the Tain and Easter Ross Ward, and was re-elected last month. He stood for the Scottish Parliament election in 2016 but was unsuccessful. 

Jo Swinson (Lib)
East Dunbartonshire
Majority: 5,339 
Replacing: John Nicolson (SNP)
2015 Majority: 2,167 

Background: Swinson was raised and educated in East Dunbartonshire and previously worked in marketing and public relations. She is married and has one son. 

Political career: Swinson has been an active member of the Liberal Democrats since she was 17 and stood in the 2001 general election for Hull East. She was first elected in 2005 as the MP for East Dunbartonshire, losing her seat in 2015 to John Nicolson. In the coalition government, she was an equalities minister and was previously deputy leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.


David Linden (SNP)
Glasgow East
Majority: 75 
Replacing: Natalie McGarry (SNP)
2015 Majority: 10,387 ​​

Background: Background: Originally from Cranhill, Linden moved to Garrowhill with his family. Linden worked in the finance sector before taking a job as a caseworker in the SNP’s Glasgow East constituency office. 

Political career: He has worked for the SNP in Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels. He also ran the office of Alison Thewliss and he has been an SNP activist for 16 years.


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