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Claire Baker

Baker in 2010
Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Culture
Assumed office
1 March 2021
LeaderAnas Sarwar
Preceded byHerself
Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
In office
19 December 2017 – 1 March 2021
LeaderRichard Leonard
Jackie Baillie (Acting)
Preceded byLewis Macdonald
Succeeded byRhoda Grant (Tourism)
Colin Smythe (External Affairs)
Herself (Culture)
In office
16 December 2014 – 5 May 2016
LeaderJim Murphy
Iain Gray (Acting)
Kezia Dugdale
Preceded byPatricia Ferguson
Succeeded byLewis Macdonald
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Mid Scotland and Fife
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Justice
In office
25 May 2016 – 19 December 2017
LeaderKezia Dugdale
Alex Rowley (Acting)
Jackie Baillie (Acting)
Preceded byGraeme Pearson
Succeeded byDaniel Johnson
Personal details
Claire Josephine Brennan

(1971-03-04) 4 March 1971 (age 50)
Political partyScottish Labour Party
Spouse(s)Richard Baker

Claire Josephine Baker (née Brennan; born 4 March 1971) is a Scottish Labour Party politician who has served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Mid Scotland and Fife region since 2007.

Early life and career

Claire Baker was born on 4 March 1971 in Dunfermline to Margaret (née Edgar) and James Brennan.[1] She grew up in Kelty, and attended primary and secondary schools in Fife.[2] She studied for an MA (Hons) in English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh and in 1997 was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow.[1]


Baker worked in a variety of research and policy posts. This included working as a Research Officer for the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Group from 1999–2002, Research Officer for the trade union Amicus from 2002–2004, and as Research and Information Manager at the Royal College of Nursing, Scotland from 2004–2005. Immediately prior to being elected to the Scottish Parliament, she was Policy Manager for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the umbrella body for charities and community and voluntary organisations in Scotland.[1]

In May 2007 she was elected for the Mid Scotland and Fife region.

In the 2011 election, Baker contested the seat of Mid Fife and Glenrothes but lost to the SNP's Tricia Marwick, who subsequently resigned from the SNP to become the Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer. However, she was successfully returned to the Scottish Parliament as 2nd on Labour's Mid Scotland and Fife regional list.

In the Holyrood election of 2016, Baker unsuccessfully stood in the Kirkcaldy constituency and was defeated by David Torrance of the Scottish National Party, suffering a swing against Labour of 15.8%. She was subsequently returned to the Scottish Parliament as a member for Mid Scotland and Fife on the regional list as Labour's 2nd place candidate.

In 2011 she was Labour's Shadow Minister for Education in the Scottish Parliament[3][4] and the Deputy Convener of the Education and Culture Committee. She later served on the Scottish Labour front bench as spokesperson for Rural Affairs and Environment (2011–2014),[5] Culture, Europe and External Affairs (2014–2015),[6] and Democracy (covering "constitution, Europe, culture and power in society") (2015–2016).[7] Having served as Scottish Labour's spokesperson on Justice, Baker is currently Shadow Secretary for Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs.[8]

Baker nominated Anas Sarwar in the 2021 Scottish Labour leadership election.[9]

Personal life

In 2004 she married Richard Baker,[1][10] who was formerly an MSP for North East Scotland.[11] The couple have one daughter.[1] In 1998, Baker published a Critical Guide to the Poetry of Sylvia Plath.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Who's the who (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2017.
  2. ^ Baker, Claire. "Biography – Claire Baker, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife". Retrieved 7 May 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Scottish Labour unveils front bench team, BBC News, 20 May 2011
  4. ^ Higher Education and the most expensive degree in the UK – a contradiction too far?, Labour Hame, 9 September 2011
  5. ^ Johann Lamont hands finance role to rival Ken Mackintosh, BBC News, 19 December 2011
  6. ^ Scottish Labour reshuffle sees allies and rivals alike on Holyrood front bench, The Guardian, 16 December 2014
  7. ^ Kezia Dugdale unveils Scottish Labour front bench team, Holyrood, 19 August 2015
  8. ^ "About Claire | Claire Baker MSP".
  9. ^ "Scottish Leadership Election 2021 – Nominations". Scottish Labour. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  10. ^ MSPs at their best for ceremony, BBC News, 9 May 2007
  11. ^ Who's who (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2017.[permanent dead link]