Joan McAlpine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joan McAlpine
Parliamentary Liaison Officer
to the First Minister of Scotland
Assumed office
May 2011
Serving with Humza Yousaf
Preceded by Alasdair Allan
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South of Scotland
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Personal details
Born (1962-01-28) 28 January 1962 (age 53)[1]
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Pat Kane (divorced)
Children 2 daughters (Grace, Eleanor)
Alma mater University of Glasgow
City University London

Joan McAlpine MSP (born 28 January 1962) is a Scottish journalist and Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for the South of Scotland. She has a column in the The Daily Record newspaper and is author of the blog Go Lassie Go, which won a Scottish media blog award.


McAlpine was born in Gourock, Renfrewshire and attended St Ninian's Primary school in Gourock and St Columba's High School in Greenock. She has an MA (Hons) in Scottish History and Economic History from University of Glasgow.[2] She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in newspaper journalism from City University in London. McAlpine was formerly married to the writer and musician Pat Kane, with whom she has two daughters.[3]

McAlpine began her career at the Greenock Telegraph in 1987. She went on to work for The Scotsman and The Sunday Times, where she won the Scottish Journalist of the Year award in 1999. In 2000 she was appointed editor of The Sunday Times Scotland and the following year became deputy editor of The Herald; the first woman to hold the Herald post,[4] although not the first Scottish female newspaper editor. She also wrote a weekly column for The Scotsman.[5] Her blog, Go Lassie Go, was voted Scotland's top media blog in 2010.[6][7]

In 1994 McAlpine co-authored a book on the history of the anti-poll tax campaign, A Time to Rage, with the political activist Tommy Sheridan.[8] In 1999 a programme Border Television written and presented by McAlpine, Crossing the Border, received a commendation but no award at the New York Television Festival.[4]

Member of the Scottish Parliament[edit]

McAlpine was elected as a list MSP for the South of Scotland region in the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election. She has been a media adviser[9] for the SNP and Alex Salmond's speechwriter, as well as preparing for debates for the First Minister of Scotland.[10][11]

She currently is a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Committee on Education and Culture and the Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister Alex Salmond MSP.


In November 2011 a member of McAlpine's staff, Gail Lythgoe, was found to have emailed a Women's equality group, alleging that the Labour Politician Ian 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.[12][13] The email was later leaked and Lythgoe publicly apologised for making unsubstantiated allegations, with the Labour Party stating that this was a result of an SNP "dirty tricks campaign" against Davidson and called for an investigation.[12]

In January 2012, McAlpine stated that individuals who criticized the policies of the SNP were 'anti-Scottish' provoking widespread condemnation from other political parties.[14]

In March 2012, McAlpine compared Scotlands' position in the UK with a woman in an abusive marriage with a domineering man and stated that rival political parties were behaving in a sexist and misogynistic manner.[14]

In May 2012, McAlpine was reprimanded by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament for failing to turn up to Ministerial Questions to ask a question which she had tabled in the Scottish Parliament as she was eating dinner in a restaurant.[15][16][17]

In February 2014, it was revealed that McAlpine had paid £1,750 in expenses for ten days of photography to the wife of Mark McLachlan, with whom she had been having an affair.[18] McAlpine stated to the Allowance Office in the Scottish Parliament that this sum was for ten days of photography however the majority of which was not carried out.[19] McAlpine also attempted to find employment for Mr McLachlan from her colleagues in the Scottish National Party.[20] Upon McLachlans wife discovering their affair and separating from him, McAlpine personally paid back the sum to the Scottish Parliament Allowances Office[19] and had her lawyers write to McLachlans wife to attempt to prevent her from disclosing McAlpines' name or citing adultery in her divorce proceedings.[21] McAlpine later referred her case to the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament for judgment who found that since she paid back the expense claim there was no case to answer.[22]


  1. ^ "Democracy Live | Your representatives | Joan McAlpine". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Joan McAlpine". Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  5. ^ "allmediascotland". allmediascotland. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  6. ^ "Top journalist’s / mainstream media blogs – Scottish Roundup". 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  7. ^ "allmediascotland". allmediascotland. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  8. ^ "A Time to Rage (0748661743) by Tommy Sheridan, Joan Macalpine @". Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  9. ^ "allmediascotland". allmediascotland. 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  10. ^ Published on Wednesday 18 May 2011 17:21 (2011-05-18). "George Kerevan: The seal of cabinet approval is still to be validated - News -". Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  11. ^ [3][dead link]
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^

External links[edit]