John Mason (Scottish politician)

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John Mason
MSP
JohnMasonMSP20110509.JPG
Deputy Convener of the
Scottish Parliament
Finance Committee
Incumbent
Assumed office
15 June 2011
Preceded by Tom McCabe
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow Shettleston
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Preceded by Frank McAveety
Majority 586 (2.8%)
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow East
In office
24 July 2008 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by David Marshall
Succeeded by Margaret Curran
Majority 365 (1.4%)
Glasgow City Councillor for Baillieston (Ward 20)
Garrowhill (1998–2007)
In office
1998 – 25 July 2008
Succeeded by David Turner
Personal details
Born (1957-05-15) 15 May 1957 (age 57)
Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Alma mater Hutchesons' Grammar School

University of Glasgow

Profession Accountant
Religion Baptist
Website john-mason.org

John Fingland Mason (born 15 May 1957) is a Scottish politician and the Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston.

He was the SNP Member of Parliament for Glasgow East from 2008 to 2010 and a Councillor on Glasgow City Council for the Garrowhill ward between 1998-2007 then from 2007-2008 in the new multi-member ward of Baillieston (Ward 20).

Background[edit]

Originally from Rutherglen, Mason has lived in the East End of Glasgow for 20 years. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother a teacher.

After attending Hutchesons' Grammar School[1] he studied Accounting at the University of Glasgow[2] becoming an ICAS Chartered Accountant.

He worked for housing associations, nursing homes, and with a charity in London. He also spent three years in Kathmandu, Nepal with an NGO (United Mission to Nepal) representing churches from across the world. Mason is opposed to abortion.[3]

Mason is a supporter of Scottish First Division football team Clyde and his other interests include involvement in Easterhouse Baptist Church, hill-walking, camping and reading (Scottish history).[4]

Councillor[edit]

Mason has lived in the East End of Glasgow for the past 20 years and was elected as the councillor for the Garrowhill ward in Glasgow City Council at a by-election in 1998 and was re-elected in 1999 and 2003.[5]

He was elected in 2007 as the councillor for the new ward of Baillieston, achieving the highest personal vote of any councillor in Glasgow.[citation needed]

He rose to become the Leader of the Opposition in Glasgow City Council and led the SNP Council Group on the majority Labour-run Council between 1999 and 2008. He was the SNP's longest serving Glasgow councillor and during his term he led many protests against Labour's moves to weaken effective opposition by altering the council committee system.[5]

In his ward, he attended a wide variety of community groups, including Garrowhill and Swinton Community Councils, local school boards, tenants association, and Garrowhill Action Partnership. He was also on the management committee of Tenant Controlled Housing which aims to give local tenants control of their housing in place of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).[6]

Parliamentarian[edit]

Elected as Member of Parliament[edit]

On 30 June 2008 David Marshall, Labour MP for Glasgow East, resigned from the UK Parliament on the grounds of ill-health,[7][8] thereby triggering a by-election.[9][10] In the days following Marshall's resignation, controversies emerged surrounding his House of Commons expenses, which included allegations of payments to family members.[11][12][13] The decision by Labour to call a quick by-election (set for 24 July 2008) was partly attributed to Labour's troubled finances and fears of an SNP campaign building up enough momentum.[14] John Mason was selected as SNP candidate for Glasgow East on 3 July.[15]

After few weeks of major campaigning, John Mason won the by-election in a surprise victory, defeating the Labour candidate Margaret Curran, MSP for Glasgow Baillieston.[16][17] Mason overturned a Labour majority of more than 13,500 to win the seat on a swing of more than 22%. It was Labour's third safest seat in Scotland.[18]

As promised during the by-election, Mason resigned his council seat immediately after his election as MP.[19] The subsequent by-election was won by the SNP. Mason served as the SNP's Westminster spokesperson on Work and Pensions during his tenure as an MP.[20] From 2009 until losing his seat in 2010, he also sat on the House of Commons' Select Committee on Administration.[20] In an interview with the Guardian newspaper in April 2010, when questioned about his Protestant religious beliefs and how that could conflict with the rights of others in the UK, Mason acknowledged the difficulty that this issue raised with him, informing the newspaper that he had been warned to leave this issue alone by his party,[21]

On 7 April 2010 he had the distinction of being the last MP to ask a question of Gordon Brown in the final Prime Minister's Questions of that Parliament.

Member of the Scottish Parliament[edit]

In the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election, he defeated his main rival, Labour's Frank McAveety, to win the Glasgow Shettleston seat with a majority of 586 votes. The turnout was 37.7%. During his time in Holyrood so far, Mason has called on the Scottish Government to make housing investment its top priority.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.hutchesons.org/news/1156_fps-humza-yousaf-and-john-mason-elected-as-msps
  2. ^ http://www.gla.ac.uk/accountingfinance
  3. ^ Abortion and embryo controversies back in spotlight for final days of campaign, The Scotsman, 19 July 2008
  4. ^ Mason, John (13 December 2005). "Councillor John Mason; Autobiography". Glasgow City Council. Archived from the original on 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  5. ^ a b Percival, Jenny (4 July 2008). "SNP to put up local council leader". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  6. ^ http://www.glasgowsnp.org/Council_candidates_2007/
  7. ^ McSmith, Andy (12 July 2008). "Struggle for survival in Labour heartland". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Porter, Andrew (27 June 2008). "Labour MP David Marshall to quit causing Brown more by-election woe". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "By-election looms after MP quits". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 30 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  10. ^ http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/849966/resigning-was-the-best-thing-david-marshall-ever-did-for-glasgow-east.thtml
  11. ^ Carlin, Brendan; Lewis, Jason (29 June 2008). "Labour's Marshall in shock resignation after rumours over expenses". Daily Mail (London). 
  12. ^ Walters, Simon; Owen, Glen (1 July 2008). "Labour mired in sleaze claims as Scots leader quits and MPs are accused of homes tax-dodge". Daily Mail (London). 
  13. ^ Tait, Michael (5 July 2008). "Labour MP spent £500,000 of taxpayers' money running office from home staffed by wife". Daily Mail (London). 
  14. ^ Hennessy, Patrick; Kite, Melissa (28 June 2008). "Labour: Gordon Brown's crisis deepens as Wendy Alexander resigns". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  15. ^ http://www.snp.org/node/14017
  16. ^ Labour concedes defeat in Glasgow East by-election, The Herald, 25 July 2008
  17. ^ SNP stuns Labour in Glasgow East, BBC News, 25 July 2008
  18. ^ A broken rule of thumb in Glasgow
  19. ^ http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/mason-calls-time-on-council-career-1.961136
  20. ^ a b http://biographies.parliament.uk/parliament/default.asp?id=73286
  21. ^ Jack, Ian (20 April 2010). "Religion still counts in Scotland". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coverage of the Glasgow East by-election, 2008
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Marshall
Member of Parliament for Glasgow East
2008 - 2010
Succeeded by
Margaret Curran