Ash Denham

Official portrait, 2021
Minister for Community Safety
Assumed office
27 June 2018
Preceded byAnnabelle Ewing
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Edinburgh Eastern
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Preceded byKenny MacAskill
Majority10,117 (23.4%)
Personal details
Born (1974-03-08) 8 March 1974 (age 47)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party

Ashten Regan-Denham (born 8 March 1974) is a Scottish politician who has served as Minister for Community Safety since 2018. A member of the Scottish National Party (SNP), she has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Edinburgh Eastern since 2016.[1]

Early life

She graduated from Keele University in 1995, and from the Open University with an MSc in Development Management in 2012.

Political career

Denham was active for the "Yes Scotland" campaign and championed the Women for Independence group.[2]

She was selected as the SNP candidate for the Edinburgh Eastern constituency in August 2015 by the local party after sitting MSP Kenny MacAskill, had announced in June that he would not stand for re-election.[3]

In June 2016, she was appointed as Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.[4] She was a member of the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee and the Finance and Constitution Committee.[5] In November 2017, she was moved from the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work committee to the Health and Sport Committee, where she was appointed deputy convener.

On the 27 June 2018, she was appointed Minister for Community Safety.[6]

In June 2019, it was reported that a number of her ex-employees received pay-offs worth thousands of pounds and some signed non-disclosure agreements.[7]


  1. ^ "Election 2016: Edinburgh Eastern". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ "SNP hustings to hear nomination hopefuls". Southern Reporter. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  3. ^ Cameron, Courtney (29 August 2015). "SNP picks WFI campaigner to fight MacAskill seat". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  4. ^ Stephen, Phyllis (17 June 2016). "SNP MSPs appointed to new roles". Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Ash Denham MSP's biography pages". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  6. ^ McNab, Scott (27 June 2018). "SNP rising stars handed key Government roles". The Scotsman. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  7. ^ Howarth, Angus (2 June 2019). "Ex-staff of SNP MSP Ash Denham handed thousands of pounds in exit payments". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
Scottish Parliament Preceded byKenny MacAskill Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Eastern2016–present Incumbent