Brian Monteith

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Brian Monteith
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Mid Scotland and Fife
In office
6 May 1999 – 3 May 2007
Personal details
Born (1958-01-08) 8 January 1958 (age 56)
Political party Scottish Conservative Party
Alma mater Heriot-Watt University

Brian Monteith (born 8 January 1958) is a Scottish public relations consultant, politician and commentator, who was a Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament between 1999 and 2007.

Education[edit]

Monteith was educated at Portobello High School and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He was a member of the Federation of Conservative Students.[1] He also organised a successful campaign to take Heriot-Watt out of the National Union of Students. However, he was reprimanded over this by an investigating committee which referred to Monteith's "grave errors of judgment".

Career[edit]

Following university Monteith initially worked as a researcher for Thatcherite London-based think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies.

Monteith moved on to work in the public relations arena for Michael Forsyth Associates - Monteith shared a flat in London with his mentor and boss Michael Forsyth. Later, with his wife Shirley, Monteith set up Leith Communications public relations company in Edinburgh. The company however went bust in the early 1990s owing over £50,000 to creditors. This crisis forced Monteith to withdraw from standing for the Scottish Conservative party against Labour's John Smith in the Monklands East parliamentary seat.

Devolution[edit]

Monteith went on to be the leader of the unsuccessful Think Twice "No-No" campaign in the 1997 devolution referendum which opposed the creation of the Scottish Parliament.

Member of the Scottish Parliament[edit]

Monteith was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party list member for the Mid Scotland and Fife region at the 1999 election. After election to the Scottish parliament Monteith developed a reputation as a Thatcherite disciple of former Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth.[2] He later argued in favour of giving more financial powers to the Scottish Parliament and wanted to move his party in a different direction ideologically and strategically.

Between 1999 and 2003 Montieth was the Education, Arts, Culture & Sport spokesperson.[3] In July 2005 Monteith resigned though as the Finance Spokesperson, stating that he wanted the freedom to discuss policy matters that "cut across other policy portfolios". Later that year the Scottish Conservative Party withdrew the whip from Monteith when it emerged that he had been briefing the media against the then Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie regarding questions over McLetchie's £11,500 of claims for taxi expenses.[4][5]

In 2006 Monteith announced he would not stand again as an MSP, saying he "would rather return to commerce than be a one-man band swimming against the treacly tide of collectivism in the Scottish Parliament".[6]

Other[edit]

Monteith is the Chairman of English-Speaking Union Scotland and has had two stints working for the Botswanan government. Monteith is also an acquaintance of indicted American lobbyist Jack Abramoff.[7][8]

Monteith is also in the course of writing a second book and writes regularly for many newspapers including a regular opinion column for the Edinburgh Evening News.

He is also well known for being a supporter of Hibernian. His two sons are presently on the books of Edinburgh City.

Current[edit]

Monteith is currently the policy director of ThinkScotland.org.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Federation of Conservative Students, ConservativeHome, July 30, 2006
  2. ^ Taylor, Brian (2003). Scotland's Parliament. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7486-1778-4. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "MSP 'takes blame' for disloyalty". BBC News. 5 November 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh, Scotland), Nov 6, 2005
  6. ^ Monteith to stand down as MSP, The Scotsman, 2006-11-01, accessed on 2007-02-10
  7. ^ "culture.discuss.cia-drugs - The Whitewater Fund Raising Model - DeLay Money Machine Goes International - msg#00086 - Recent Discussion". Osdir.com. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  8. ^ Smith, R. Jeffrey (24 April 2005). "DeLay Airfare Was Charged To Lobbyist's Credit Card". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 

External links[edit]