Personal Information

  • Member for:
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  • Date of Birth:

Welcome to my pages on the Scottish Parliament website. I was elected as a regional list member for Mid Scotland and Fife on 3rd May 2007.

If you have any issues or concerns which you think I may be able to help with please do not hesitate to get in contact – details of how to do so are further down the page.

I’ve been an active trade unionist and a member of Unite since I started working in 1989 and a Labour Party member for the majority of my working life. Coming from a family with roots deep in the coalfields of Fife, and in the defence industry, I was brought up to recognise that having the opportunity to be an elected representative is a privilege and an important responsibility.

I left school at 15 and undertook an electrical fitter apprenticeship at Rosyth Dockyard. I became active in the trade union led campaign to win the Trident refit contract. I was elected a shop steward shortly after and subsequently was elected as secretary of the joint trade union negotiating committee in 1999.

In 2001 I took up a full time position with the Amalgamated Engineering Electrical Union (AEEU) in Research and Communications at their Head Office in London. When the Union merged with MSF to form Amicus I was appointed a National Campaigns Officer working on wide range of diverse industrial campaigns across the UK before returning to Scotland in 2003 to work in the private sector as Head of Employee Relations with Babcock Naval Services.

Prior to my election to the Scottish Parliament I was an Assistant Secretary at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) where I had responsibility for the organisation’s media and political strategy.

 I have a keen interest in workforce development issues. I am also interested in European matters and in particular the social partnership models in the Nordic countries.

My main areas of interest include business/industrial issues; skills; energy; industrial relations; housing; and sport.

Personal Interests:
I enjoy watching most sports and playing football. In addition to being a member of the Scottish Parliament football team, I still regularly play five-a-side with former workmates from Rosyth. I also enjoy walking - particularly along the Fife coastal path close to my home – and have a keen interest in music and film.

Trade UnionMembership:
Unite; Community

    Education:

    1978 - 1985
    Blacklaw Primary School

    1985 - 1989
    Woodmill High School

    1989 - 1992
    Fife College

    2000 - 2001
    Lauder College

    Career History:

    1989 - 1998
    Electrical Fitter, Rosyth Dockyard

    1998 - 2001
    Trade Union Convenor, Rosyth Dockyard

    2001- 2002
    Research Officer, Amicus (AEEU)

    2002 - 2003
    National Industrial Campaigns Officer, Amicus

    2003 - 2004
    Head of Employee Relations, Babcock Naval Services

    2004 - 2007
    Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress