||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
6 May 1999
|Member of the United Kingdom Parliament
for Glasgow Govan
8 November 1973 – 28 February 1974
|Preceded by||John Rankin|
|Succeeded by||Harry Selby|
19 April 1943 |
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
|Children||2 daughters Petra and Zoe|
|Alma mater||Dunfermline College|
Margo MacDonald MSP (Scottish Gaelic: Mairead Dhòmhnallach, born 19 April 1943) is a Scottish politician and former Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament (MP) and Deputy Leader. She is now an Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Lothian region.
Her daughter Petra is married to one half of The Proclaimers, Craig Reid and they have four children (Rosanne, Lena, Peter and John).
A committed and vocal supporter of Scottish independence, Margo MacDonald won the Glasgow Govan by-election, 1973, as a SNP candidate; Govan had until then been a Labour stronghold. She failed to retain the seat in the following general election of February 1974, but became Deputy Leader of the SNP in 1974, a post she held until 1979.
She began to establish herself as a forceful presenter of various radio and television programmes, including the short-lived Colour Supplement for Radio 4 in the mid-1980s. She currently writes regularly for Scottish newspapers including the Edinburgh Evening News.
By the mid-1990s she had returned to the SNP and in 1999, she was elected to the Scottish Parliament, representing the Lothians. This period marked her becoming less influential with the leadership of the SNP, firstly under Alex Salmond and then John Swinney, having been viewed as being in the SNP Fundamentalist mould and having supported Alex Neil in the party leadership election in 2000. This culminated in her being placed fifth on the SNP list for Lothians for the 2003 Parliament election, whereas she had been first in 1999. This effectively ended her chances of being elected as an SNP MSP and she decided to stand as an independent. She was officially expelled from the SNP on 28 January 2003.
She was re-elected as an independent MSP at the 2003 Scottish Parliament election, and again in 2007 and 2011. After her 2007 re-election MacDonald stood to become Presiding Officer, but lost the ballot to Alex Fergusson.
My Right to Die
In July 2008, MacDonald co-operated with BBC Scotland in the making of a documentary about Assisted Dying. As a Parkinson's sufferer, MacDonald has been a long time campaigner for Assisted Dying, saying "As someone with a degenerative condition - Parkinson's - this debate is not a theory with me. The possibility of having the worst form of the disease at the end of life has made me think about unpleasant things. I feel strongly that, in the event of losing my dignity or being faced with the prospect of a painful or protracted death, I should have the right to choose to curtail my own, and my family's, suffering."
In the programme, MacDonald travelled around Scotland and met with fellow sufferers and investigated the pros and cons of Assisted Dying. MacDonald's views on the subject are very well documented, and she is a very strong supporter for a change in the laws throughout the United Kingdom to allow Assisted Dying, stating "Online, euthanasia campaigners show viewers how to make an 'exit hood' to end your life, and I know people with terminal illnesses now make the awful trip to Mexico to buy lethal doses of drugs to take their own lives, all because of our current laws. I am in no doubt that our legal system must change."
- Official Website
- Margo MacDonald on Twitter
- Margo MacDonald MSP Scottish Parliament webpage
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Margo MacDonald
- Margo For Lothian Re-election campaign site
- Margo MacDonald Facebook
- @MargoForLothian Twitter
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan
|Party political offices|
|Senior Vice Chairman (Deputy Leader) of the Scottish National Party