Mike Watson, Baron Watson of Invergowrie
|The Lord Watson of Invergowrie|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow Cathcart
6 May 1999 – 22 September 2005
|Preceded by||New Parliament|
|Succeeded by||Charlie Gordon|
|Member of the UK Parliament
for Glasgow Central
15 June 1989 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Robert McTaggart|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
1 May 1949 |
Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire
|Political party||Scottish Labour Party|
|Alma mater||Heriot-Watt University|
Michael Goodall Watson, Baron Watson of Invergowrie, known as Mike Watson, (born 1 May 1949) is a British Labour Party politician. He has sat in three legislatures in the United Kingdom and served as Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport in the Scottish Executive Cabinet.
Watson was expelled from his party on 22 September 2005 following his conviction and imprisonment for fire-raising at Prestonfield House, but was re-admitted to the Labour party in July 2012. He currently sits as a Labour member of the House of Lords and is an Associate Director of the Edinburgh public affairs and communications company Caledonia Consulting.
Mike Watson was born in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, but his family moved to Invergowrie, Perth and Kinross when he was very young. He was educated at Invergowrie Primary School, the High School of Dundee and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, graduating with a B.A. Hons in Economics and Industrial Relations in 1974.
Prior to entering politics Watson worked as a tutor/organiser for the Workers' Educational Association and in the trade union movement, for the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs (ASTMS) and the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union (MSF).
Watson was elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom in a 1989 by-election for the Glasgow Central constituency. He was re-elected in the 1992 election and represented that constituency until it was abolished in 1997. He sought the nomination from the Labour party to run for the Govan seat in 1997, but after initially winning the nomination by one vote, he lost a re-run to Mohammad Sarwar.
In 1999 Lord Watson was elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent the Glasgow Cathcart constituency and was re-elected in 2003. On 20 July 1999 Watson announced his intention to introduce the Protection of Wild Mammals bill as a member's bill to the Scottish Parliament to outlaw fox hunting. The bill passed a vote 83 – 26 on 13 February 2002 and received Royal Assent on 15 March, becoming the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 and becoming law on 1 August. This was a precursor to the Hunting Act 2004 banning fox hunting in England and Wales.
On 15 November 2004, Lord Watson was charged with two counts of "wilful fire-raising" after a private reception at Edinburgh's Prestonfield Hotel following the Scottish Politician of the Year awards on 12 November. The first alleged that he set fire to a curtain in the hotel's reception, and the second that he set fire to a curtain in the hotel's Yellow Room. On being charged, the Labour whip was suspended in the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments. After initially registering not guilty pleas to both charges on 23 August 2005, on 1 September he changed his plea on the first count to guilty, and had a not guilty plea accepted on the second charge. On the same day that Lord Watson admitted his guilt, he resigned from the Scottish Parliament. He also resigned as a director of Dundee United Football Club.
However, it is not possible for a life peer to resign from the House of Lords, which has led to calls for legislation to enable those peers convicted of criminal offences to be stripped of their titles. Such legislation was last proposed following the conviction of Jeffrey Archer for perjury in 2001, but was then rejected.
On 22 September 2005, Lord Watson was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment. Sheriff Kathrine Mackie justified the sentence, stating that there was both "a significant risk of re-offending" and that Lord Watson offered no mitigation or explanation. She also told Lord Watson that consumption of alcohol "neither excuses nor fully explains your behaviour." Lord Watson appealed against his sentence on 23 March 2006 but the appeal judges refused to cut the term, and he was returned to prison.
After serving eight months of his sentence, he was released on 23 May 2006.
In January 2007 Lord Watson was appointed as an Associate Director with Caledonia Consulting and continues to attend the House of Lords on a regular basis as a non-affiliated member.
- http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/labour-blasted-after-firebug-peer-1444710. Missing or empty
- http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/michael-watson/26525. Missing or empty
- Watson, Mike (1985). Rags to Riches: The official history of Dundee United. David Winter & Sons, Dundee ISBN 0-902804-18-
- Watson, Mike (1992). Rags to Riches (updated version). David Winter & Sons, Dundee ISBN 0-902804-18-9
- Watson, Mike (1997). The Tannadice Encyclopedia. Mainstream, Edinburgh ISBN 1-85158-996-1
- Watson, Mike (2001). Year Zero: An Inside View of the Scottish Parliament. Polygon at Edinburgh. ISBN 1-902930-26-6.
- Watson, Mike and Rundo, Peter (2009).Dundee United: The Official Centenary History. Birlinn, Edinburgh. ISBN 978-1-84158-828-5
- MSP charged after blaze claims – at Evening Times Online (published 15 November 2004)
- Fire-raising peer sent to prison – at BBC News online (published 22 September 2005)
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central
|New constituency||Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Cathcart
|Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport
|Minister for Gaelic