David Martin
Martin, David-9327.jpg
Official portrait, 2014
Co-convener of the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland
Assumed office
6 August 2019
Serving with Kate Wimpress
Preceded byPosition established
Member of the European Parliament
for Scotland
Lothians (1984–1999)
In office
14 June 1984 – 1 July 2019
Preceded byIan Dalziel
Succeeded byAileen McLeod
Personal details
Born (1954-08-26) 26 August 1954 (age 68)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political partyScottish Labour
Other political
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Spouse(s)Margaret Martin (div)
Lorraine Davidson
Alma materHeriot-Watt University
University of Leicester

David Martin (born 26 August 1954) is a Scottish politician who has served as co-convener of the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland since 2019. A member of the Scottish Labour Party, he was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1984 to 2019, having first represented the Lothians constituency until 1999 and then for the Scotland constituency. He was the United Kingdom's longest serving MEP and the second longest serving MEP in the whole European Parliament.[1]

Early life

David Martin was born and educated in Edinburgh, where he attended Liberton High School then Heriot-Watt University. Prior to entering politics, he worked as a stockbroker's assistant, and also as an animal rights campaigner.[2]

Political career

Martin was first elected as a councillor in 1982.

European Parliament

Martin won the Lothians seat in the 1984 European Parliament election. He retained his seat, and following a reform of the electoral system, was in 1999 elected to represent the whole of Scotland along with other members.

He was elected in 1987 as the youngest ever leader of the British Labour delegation of MEPs. He was Vice-President of the European Parliament from 1989 to 2004, the longest period anyone has served in that position. In 2002 he was the defeated Socialist candidate for President of the Parliament.

He was the European Parliament's rapporteur on the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties.

Martin supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[3]

Martin was first on the Scottish Labour party list for the 2019 European Parliament election. The result for Scotland was declared on 17 May 2019. Scottish Labour lost both its seats, receiving 9.3% of the vote.[4] He did not attend the declaration, leaving Edinburgh City Chambers the night before.[5]

Trade Committee

Martin was a co-ordinator and spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats Group on the International Trade (INTA) committee. As well as this role, he was the rapporteur for the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and standing rapporteur for the ASEAN-5 countries.

Martin stepped in as the rapporteur for the ACTA treaty after the original rapporteur, Kader Arif, resigned in protest.[6] In April 2012, Martin recommended that the European Parliament reject ACTA, on the grounds that civil liberties were not adequately protected.[7][8] His recommendation was adopted by the Parliament in the biggest ever defeat of a legislative proposal from the European Commission – 478 MEPs voted against ACTA, 39 in favour, and 165 abstained.[9]

In 2013, Martin was voted MEP of the year in the international trade category by The Parliament Magazine.[10]

Martin was the rapporteur for the UN Arms Trade Treaty, encouraging member states to ratify the treaty and pushing for the EU to lead strict global implementation of new rules for greater transparency and responsibility in the arms industry.[11]

Animal Welfare

Martin is Honorary Vice-President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, a cross-party group of MEPs striving for animal rights.[12]

He was instrumental in the 2009 Seal Regulation, which bans the sale of seal products in the European Union. It has been estimated by the Humane Society International that in Canada around 250,000 seals have been saved per year as a result of this ruling.[13] This was reinforced by a landmark WTO ruling following a challenge to the EU legislation by the Norwegian and Canadian governments.[14]

Scottish politics

Following the Brexit vote of 23 June 2016, Martin was invited to join the First Minister's Standing Council on Europe, a cross-party body which offers advice to the Scottish government on how best to protect Scotland's relationship with the European Union.[15] In contrast to England and Wales, Scotland voted firmly in favour of EU membership by 62% to 38%.[16]

In a video he explained, "she [First Minister Nicola Sturgeon] assured me this would be an all-party and no-party, a pro-independence and an anti-independence grouping, that there would be no bias one way or the other. Our job is simply to look at what would be best for Scotland in the new situation that we face".[17]

Citizens' Assembly

Since losing his seat in 2019, Martin has been appointed as co-convener of the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland.[18] He and Kate Wimpress, from a charity and arts background, took office as co-conveners on 6 August 2019.[19]

In July 2019, Joanna Cherry, Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West, suggested the Assembly would be used to promote Scottish nationalism.[20] Martin, a unionist, refused to endorse a boycott of the Assembly encouraged by Scotland in Union, the Scottish Conservatives and the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He insisted the running of the Assembly would be impartial and expressed his disappointment at the going ahead of the boycott.[21]

Personal life

Martin is married to Lorraine Davidson, with two children; he also has two children from a previous marriage to his first wife Margaret.[22]


  1. ^ "Call for 'groundwork' on SNP-Labour deal". BBC News. 15 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ BBC-Vacher's Biographical Guide 1996. London: BBC Political Research Unit and Vacher's Publications. 1996. pp. 6–21. ISBN 0951520857.
  3. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  4. ^ "SNP increases MEPs amid Labour collapse". 27 May 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Unspun: the political diary". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  6. ^ Arthur, Charles (1 February 2012). "Acta goes too far, says MEP". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  7. ^ "EU Parliament's draftsman urges ACTA rejection". Euractiv.com. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  8. ^ "EU Rapporteur's Draft Recommendation".
  9. ^ "European Parliament rejects ACTA | News | European Parliament". News | European Parliament. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  10. ^ David Martin (4 June 2013), Parliament Magazine 2013 MEP Awards_Trade, archived from the original on 22 December 2021, retrieved 18 August 2016
  11. ^ "EU must lead global monitoring of arms trade, says S&D member David Martin | Socialists & Democrats". socialistsanddemocrats.eu. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Animal Welfare Intergroup – The Bureau".
  13. ^ "250,000 Seals' Lives Saved : Humane Society International". hsi.org. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Historic WTO Ruling Upholds EU Ban on Seal Product Trade : Humane Society International". hsi.org. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  15. ^ "First meeting of Standing Council on Europe – First Minister of Scotland". 15 July 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  16. ^ "EU referendum: Scotland backs Remain as UK votes Leave – BBC News". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  17. ^ "David Martin MEP – Videos | Facebook". facebook.com. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Threat to Scotland's new Citizens' Assembly leaves top adviser 'fuming'". The Scotsman. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Conveners appointed for constitutional Citizens' Assembly". Holyrood Magazine. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  20. ^ "SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC has made Citizens Assembly 'ten times harder', says adviser". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Citizens' Assembly 'perfect way' to boost Scottish independence". The Scotsman. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  22. ^ Peterkin, Tom (14 May 2004). "Labour's top MEPs in expenses wrangle at launch of Euro campaign". The Daily Telegraph.
Party political offices Preceded byAlf Lomas Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party 1987–1988 Succeeded byBarry Seal