Mark McDonald

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For the Irish hurler, see Mark McDonald (hurler).
Mark McDonald
MA, MLitt
McDonald, Mark 2.jpg
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Aberdeen Donside
Assumed office
20 June 2013
Preceded by Brian Adam
Majority 2,025
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for North East Scotland
In office
5 May 2011 – 14 May 2013
Succeeded by Christian Allard
Personal details
Born (1980-06-07) 7 June 1980 (age 34)
Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Louise
Children 1 son, 1 daughter
Residence Dyce, Aberdeen
Alma mater University of Dundee
University of Aberdeen
(Scottish Parliament)

Mark McDonald (born 7 June 1980) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeen Donside.[1] He previously represented the North East Scotland region between 5 May 2011 and 14 May 2013.[2]

Education and early career[edit]

McDonald was educated at Dyce Primary School and Dyce Academy. He gained an MA in Politics from the University of Dundee (2002) and an MLitt in Strategic Studies from the University of Aberdeen (2003). He is a Life Member of Dundee University Debating Union. From 2003 to 2011 he worked as a Personal Assistant to MSPs Richard Lochhead, Maureen Watt, and Nigel Don. He was elected to Aberdeen City Council in 2007 at the age of 26 representing the Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone ward having unsuccessfully contested a 2004 Local Authority by-election in the city. McDonald stood as SNP candidate for Aberdeen South in the 2010 UK general election coming fourth in the poll.

Scottish Parliament[edit]

McDonald was elected to the Scottish Parliament in the 2011 election from the North East Scotland regional list [3] with the SNP taking 52.71% of the vote. As the Scottish National Party had already won all ten constituency seats in the region, it came as a surprise to McDonald who famously appeared at the declaration wearing jeans and a t-shirt.[3] He made his maiden speech on 2 June 2011 during a debate on Green Energy. McDonald has been a member of many committees in the parliament, but currently sits on the Local Government and Regeneration Committee. In addition, he sits on a number of Cross Party Groups (CPGs) including Oil & Gas, Carers, Epilepsy and Mental Health (which he co-convenes). He is currently Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister, having previously been Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance.

In September 2011, McDonald announced he was to bring forward a Member's Bill on High Hedge Disputes,[4] which was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament on 28 March 2013,[5] making McDonald's bill the first Members' Bill to pass in the current Parliamentary session.

Following the death of Brian Adam in April 2013, Mark McDonald was selected as the SNP candidate for Aberdeen Donside and resigned his seat as a North East Scotland Region MSP to fight the by-election. McDonald held the seat for the SNP with a reduced majority [6] and was returned to the Scottish Parliament on 20 June 2013.

Mark McDonald lodged motion S4M-00609 ('Planned Westboro Baptist Church Visit to Aberdeen') in the Scottish Parliament in order to 'call' on the Home Secretary the Right Honorable Theresa May MP to confirm the continuation of the 2009 ban on Fred Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper and to extend it to other members of the Westboro Baptist Church:

That the Parliament notes the stated intention of the Westboro Baptist Church to picket Queen's Cross Church in Aberdeen in protest at the presence of the Reverend Scott Rennie; further notes that the Westboro Baptist Church has gained notoriety for its extreme, homophobic views and pickets of American soldiers' funerals; also notes that the head of the church, Pastor Fred Phelps, and his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, appeared on a list of individuals banned from entering the United Kingdom in 2009; considers that the views espoused by Pastor Phelps and his followers have no place in 21st century Scotland, and calls on the Home Secretary to confirm the continuation of the ban on their entry to the UK and to consider extending it to cover all known members of Westboro Baptist Church.