Mike Rumbles
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for North East Scotland
In office
5 May 2016 – 8 May 2021
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
In office
6 May 1999 – 22 March 2011
Preceded bynew constituency
Succeeded byDennis Robertson
Aberdeenshire West
Majority5,170 (14.8%) (2007)
Personal details
Michael John Rumbles

(1956-06-10) 10 June 1956 (age 65)
South Shields, England
Political partyScottish Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Pauline Rumbles
Children2 sons
Alma materSunderland Polytechnic
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Aberystwyth University
University of Leicester

Michael John Rumbles (born 10 June 1956)[1] is a former Scottish Liberal Democrat politician. He served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for North East Scotland,[2] from 2016 to 2021. He previously represented West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine before being defeated at the 2011 election in the successor constituency of Aberdeenshire West).[3][4][5]


Rumbles was born in South Shields in England and was educated at St James School in Hebburn, County Durham, Sunderland Polytechnic where he graduated with a BEd, and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He served in the Royal Army Education Corps retiring as a Major in October 1994.[6]

Rumbles obtained an MSc in economics at Aberystwyth University and he studied at the University of Leicester where he completed a PGD in Employment Law.[7]


Rumbles was elected to the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency in the 1999 election, and comfortably held the seat in the 2003 election and 2007 election but was defeated by the SNP in 2011. Following the Scottish Parliament's establishment in 1999, Rumbles was Convenor of the Standards Committee when it was charged with investigating the so-called 'Lobbygate' scandal, in which the son of the then Secretary of State for Scotland John Reid was embroiled. He promoted the legislation to establish an independent Standards Commissioner, the first Committee Bill of the Parliament.[8]

Leadership contests

On 12 May 2005, Rumbles announced his intention to stand for the vacant post of leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. His candidacy involved a distinct platform from his opponent Nicol Stephen. In particular, he specified a number of 'deal-breakers' for any coalition negotiations that might occur in the aftermath of the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, with an absolute insistence on the implementation of key Liberal Democrat policies such as abolition of the council tax, and an enhancement of the Scottish Parliament's powers. He also aimed to give the Liberal Democrats a more equal status within the coalition. He lost to Stephen in June 2005, winning 23.4% of the vote.

On 2 July 2008, following Stephen's surprise resignation as leader, Rumbles again announced his intention to stand for the Scottish Liberal Democrat leadership. This time he stressed his commitment to reviewing party policy on whether to hold a national referendum on Scottish independence (the policy of the Scottish National Party government). In the contest he faced former Ministers Ross Finnie and Tavish Scott. Scott won the contest comfortably.

Personal life

Rumbles married Pauline Sillars in 1985. They have two sons.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Rumbles, Michael John, (born 10 June 1956), Member (Lib Dem) Scotland North East, Scottish Parliament, since 2016 (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, 1999–2011)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U33417.
  2. ^ "North East Scotland – Scottish Parliament electoral region – Election 2016" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Lib Dems criticised after replacing only female MSP on Holyrood 2016 list with controversial candidate". Common Space. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Willie Rennie keen on women-only shortlists for Scottish Lib Dems". www.thecourier.co.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Campaigners say LibDems must introduce women-only shortlists". www.thenational.scot. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  6. ^ "London Gazette" (PDF). Retrieved 26 May 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Personal Information". www.parliament.scot. 30 June 2016.
  8. ^ Stewart, Thomas A.W. (Ed.) (2019), The Scottish Parliament in its Own Words: An Oral History, Luath Press, p. 45
Scottish Parliament New parliamentScotland Act 1998 Member of the Scottish Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine1999–2011 Succeeded byDennis Robertsonas MSP for Aberdeenshire West