Ian Davidson
Davidson in 2011
Chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee
In office
17 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byMohammad Sarwar
Succeeded byPete Wishart
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow South West
Glasgow Pollok (1997–2005)
In office
1 May 1997 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byJimmy Dunnachie
Succeeded byChris Stephens
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Govan
In office
9 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
Preceded byJim Sillars
Succeeded byMohammad Sarwar
Personal details
Born (1950-09-08) 8 September 1950 (age 70)
Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Morag Mackinnon (m. 1978)
Children1 son, 1 daughter

Ian Graham Davidson (born 8 September 1950) is a Scottish politician who served as chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee from 2010 to 2015.[1] A member of the Scottish Labour Party and Co-operative Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow South West, formerly Glasgow Pollok, from 1992 to 2015.

Davidson previously worked as a Community Service Manager and for Janey Buchan when she was a Member of the European Parliament. In 2017 and 2019, he was Scottish Labour's parliamentary candidate in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

Political career

From 1973 to 1974, Davidson was Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students.[2] He served as a councillor on Strathclyde Regional Council from 1978 to 1992, and was convenor of its education committee. He served as a councillor on Strathclyde Regional Council from 1978 to 1992, and was convenor of its education committee.

He became an MP in 1992, originally for the seat of Glasgow Govan and, following boundary changes, for Glasgow Pollok from 1997 to 2005. After further major boundary changes across Scotland, Davidson stood in the 2005 general election for the new constituency of Glasgow South West, where he won the second biggest swing to Labour in Scotland. He was a member of the Public Accounts Select committee and has lobbied to support the Scottish shipbuilding industry. He was also secretary of the Trade Union Group of Labour MPs.

In 2002 he criticised Prince Michael of Kent for 'squatting' in Kensington Palace. More recently he has criticised the Prince of Wales over his personal finances. He was the chair of Labour Against the Euro before it ceased campaigning following the 2003 decision by Gordon Brown that the five economic tests for Britain to join the euro had not been met.

During the debate in the House of Commons over the decision whether to have a referendum over the EU Treaty of Lisbon (5 March 2008), Davidson drew jeers from his Labour colleagues for branding New Labour supporters "Maoists and Trotskyists". Davidson was putting forward the case for disobeying the party line and voting for a referendum.

During the 2009–10 Expenses Scandal, it emerged that Davidson claimed £87,699 in the four years to 2007, significantly below the maximum permitted.

He served as chair of the Scotland Office Select committee from 2010 to 2015. In June 2011, he accused the Scottish National Party of "narrow neo-fascism". The choice of language resulted in the Labour Party distancing itself from Davidson's comments, saying the use of the word "neo-fascist" was unacceptable, even in the heat of debate,[3] and Angus Robertson to call on him to resign as chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.[4]

On 25 October 2011 it was alleged that Ian Davidson had threatened to inflict "a doing" upon fellow committee member Eilidh Whiteford. Davidson subsequently made an apology to the committee for his use of the word "doing", repeating an apology given to Dr Whiteford while the relevant committee meeting was breaking up. He insisted that the phrase "having had a doing" had referred to the rebukes Dr Whiteford had received from himself and several other MPs and was in the context of stopping debate before additional committee members had the opportunity further to scold Dr Whiteford. Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative committee members all stated that no threats were made.[5][6][7] The 14 other people present, MPs and staff, were all interviewed by relevant whips and parliamentary authorities. None corroborated dr Whiteford's allegations. After this investigation the Labour Party stated that it amounted to a "smear campaign" against Davidson due to the forthcoming investigations chaired by Davidson into the SNP's referendum proposal.[8]

A member of the SNP politician Joan McAlpine's staff, Gail Lythgoe, was found to have emailed a women's equality group, supporting Whiteford and alleging that Davidson has a history of bullying women and called on them to demonstrate against him whilst asking them not to reveal SNP involvement in its instigation.[9][10] The email was later leaked and Lythgoe publicly apologised for making unsubstantiated allegations, with the Labour Party alleging that this was a result of an SNP "dirty tricks campaign" against Davidson and calling for an investigation.[9]

In May 2015 he lost his seat to Chris Stephens of the SNP. In April 2017, Davidson announced his intention to stand in the 2017 General Election in the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat.[11] He was chosen because of his close personal connections with the area, having been born and raised nearby. He was unsuccessful but increased the Labour vote enough to secure the party's deposit, which had been lost by the party's candidate in the previous election. Davidson saw his party's vote rise by 67% to 4,519 or 8.6% of the vote. In October 2019, following the announcement of a December general election, he was reselected as Labour's candidate, but failed to win the seat.

Political positions

Davidson is a supporter of Republic, a campaign to replace the British Monarchy with an elected head of state.[12] A long-standing Eurosceptic, Davidson supported Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, and served on the board of Vote Leave, the official campaign group in support of Brexit.[13] [14][15]

Personal life

Davidson has been married to Morag Mackinnon since 1978 and they have a son and a daughter.[16][17] Since leaving parliament in 2015, Davidson has started swimming competitively, winning a series of medals in the Masters Swimming competitions.


  1. ^ "Labour MP condemns 'rigged purge'". Heraldscotland.com. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  2. ^ "UK political and parliamentary news, interviews, analysis, comment, blogs and podcasts". ePolitix.com. 8 September 1950. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Storm over MP Ian Davidson's SNP 'neo-fascist' remark". bbc.co.uk. 22 June 2011. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  4. ^ D'Arcy, Mark (23 June 2011). "Can Ian Davidson stay as chair after neo fascist jibe?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Labour MP Ian Davidson says sorry to select committee". BBC News. 26 October 2011.
  6. ^ Tom Peterkin (29 October 2011). "Eilidh Whiteford ratchets up Ian Davidson row". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  7. ^ Cochrane, Alan (1 November 2011). "Bullying is a big problem. It's time the Nats stopped". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  8. ^ Johnson, Simon (26 October 2011). "SNP dirty tricks row over Ian Davidson 'getting a doing' remark to female MP". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  9. ^ a b Robbie Dinwoodie (1 November 2011). "First Minister's aide linked to dirty tricks allegations". Heraldscotland.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Ian Davidson row email 'went too far'". BBC News. 1 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Tory MSP quits Holyrood to fight for Westminster seat". STV News. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Our Supporters". Republic. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  13. ^ "EU exit campaign to use SNP case for independence". www.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Scots Brexit campaign hit by damaging Labour snub". HeraldScotland. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  15. ^ http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/campaign.html
  16. ^ "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests - Part 2: Part 2". publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  17. ^ "BBC NEWS | VOTE 2001 | CANDIDATES". news.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jim Sillars
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan
Succeeded by
Mohammad Sarwar
Preceded by
Jimmy Dunnachie
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollok
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Glasgow South West
Succeeded by
Chris Stephens