Annabelle Ewing

Official portrait, 2016
Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament
Assumed office
14 May 2021
Serving with Liam McArthur
Presiding OfficerAlison Johnstone
Preceded byLinda Fabiani
Christine Grahame
Lewis Macdonald
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs
In office
18 May 2016 – 26 June 2018
Minister for Youth and Women's Employment
In office
21 November 2014 – 18 May 2016
Preceded byAngela Constance (as Minister for Youth Employment until 22 April 2014)
Succeeded byJamie Hepburn (as Minister for Employability and Training)
Deputy Convener of the
Scottish Parliament
Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee
In office
15 June 2011 – 21 November 2014
Preceded byJohn Scott (as Deputy Convener of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Cowdenbeath
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byAlex Rowley
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Mid Scotland and Fife
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
5 May 2011 – 23 March 2016
Member of Parliament
for Perth
In office
7 June 2001 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byRoseanna Cunningham
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1960-08-20) 20 August 1960 (age 61)
Political partyScottish National Party
ParentsWinnie Ewing
Stewart Ewing
RelativesFergus Ewing (brother)
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
WebsiteOfficial website

Annabelle Janet Ewing[1] (born 20 August 1960) is a Scottish politician and lawyer who has served as Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, alongside Liam McArthur, since May 2021. A member of the Scottish National Party (SNP), she has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Cowdenbeath constituency since 2016, having previously been an MSP for the Mid Scotland and Fife region from 2011 to 2016.

Ewing previously served in the British House of Commons as a Member of Parliament for Perth, from 2001 to 2005. She was Scotland's Minister for Youth and Women's Employment from 2014 to 2016, and Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs from 2016 to 2018. Her brother, Fergus Ewing, is also an MSP in the Scottish Parliament, and their mother, Winnie Ewing, previously served as an MSP, MP and MEP.[2]


Ewing was born on 20 August 1960 to Winnifred Margaret Ewing (née Woodburn) and Stewart Martin Ewing. Her mother is a prominent former Scottish politician. She attended Craigholme School for Girls in Glasgow and the University of Glasgow, where she graduated with a law degree.[1]

Before becoming an MP, Ewing was a European Community competition lawyer in Brussels and ran a small legal practice.

She lives in Perthshire. Her mother is former SNP President, Winnie Ewing, who in the past was a member of three different parliaments — Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and the European Parliament. Her brother is MSP Fergus Ewing, and her sister-in-law was the late Margaret Ewing, who had been an MSP and Westminster MP.

Ewing is a member of Shelter and Amnesty International. She has been involved in a number of Parliamentary campaigns, including fighting for the rights of Hepatitis C sufferers, and working to gain a public enquiry into the events at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, where James Collinson, a constituent, died on 23 March 2002.

Political career

Ewing was first selected as a SNP candidate for the UK Parliament to contest a by-election for Hamilton South in 1999, the constituency where her mother had won a famous by-election victory in 1967.[3] Labour had a comfortable majority at the 1997 election and despite a swing of 16% to the SNP in 1999, Labour's Bill Tynan won the seat.[4]

In 2001, Ewing stood for the UK Parliament again, this time in Perth, where Roseanna Cunningham had been the MP. Ewing was elected, defeating the Conservative candidate by just 48 votes,[5][6] giving her the narrowest majority in Scotland. In the 2005 election, following a boundary revision, she contested the new constituency of Ochil and South Perthshire, losing to the Labour party candidate, Gordon Banks.

She sought to become SNP candidate for Moray in the 27 April 2006 Scottish Parliament by-election to succeed her late sister-in-law, Margaret Ewing. She was defeated by North East Scotland MSP Richard Lochhead[7] who went on to win the seat in the by-election.

She was later selected to contest the Falkirk East seat in the 2007 election on behalf of the SNP as a replacement for the previously selected candidate, the late Douglas Henderson. On 3 May 2007 she achieved a 9% swing from Labour to the SNP in Falkirk East, however this was not enough to displace the incumbent Cathy Peattie.

She contested Ochil and South Perthshire for a second time at the 2010 election, failing again to take it from Gordon Banks, this time on an increased (4%) swing away from the SNP to Labour. At the 2011 election Ewing was elected to the Scottish Parliament as an additional member for the Mid Scotland and Fife region.

She is famed due to an incident that occurred on 16 December 2004, whereby the Deputy Speaker removed her from the House as she refused to apologise for calling the then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon a "back-stabbing coward"[8] during exchanges over Geoff Hoon's plans to merge Scottish Regiments, including the Black Watch.[9]

She was promoted to the Scottish Government on 21 November 2014 in Nicola Sturgeon's first Cabinet reshuffle. She became Minister for Youth and Women's Employment, transferring to the Community Safety and Legal Affairs portfolio in 2016. She left the government in June 2018.[10]

After being re-elected in the 2021 election, Ewing was elected as one of the two Deputy Presiding Officers of the Scottish Parliament.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Ewing, Annabelle Janet, (born 20 Aug. 1960), solicitor; Member (SNP) Cowdenbeath, Scottish Parliament, since 2016 (Scotland Mid and Fife, 2011–16); Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, since 2016", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2007, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U42274, retrieved 12 July 2018
  2. ^ "Ewing elected deputy PO despite potential conflict over brother". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Ewing to stand in by-election". BBC News. 30 August 1999.
  4. ^ "Labour scrapes home". BBC News. 24 September 1999.
  5. ^ "Vote 2001: Results & Constituencies. Perth". BBC News. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Annabelle Ewing". BBC News. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Salmond closer to Holyrood return". BBC News. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2006.
  8. ^ "Commons Debate: Future Infantry Structure". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 16 December 2004.
  9. ^ "MP thrown out of House of Commons". BBC News. 16 December 2004.
  10. ^ Cramb, Auslan (27 June 2018). "Robison quits as Sturgeon shuffles pack - SNP leader to retain close ties to outgoing 'colleague and friend'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. ^ Davidson, Jenni (14 May 2021). "Scottish Parliament's deputy presiding officers elected after five-hour voting session". Holyrood. Edinburgh. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byRoseanna Cunningham Member of Parliament for Perth2001–2005 Constituency abolished Scottish Parliament Preceded byAlex Rowley Member of the Scottish Parliament for Cowdenbeath2016–present Incumbent