Alex Cole-Hamilton

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Alex Cole-Hamilton
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Edinburgh Western
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded by Colin Keir
Majority 2,960
Personal details
Born 22 July 1977 (age 40)
Political party Scottish Liberal Democrats
Alma mater University of Aberdeen

Alexander "Alex" Geoffrey Cole-Hamilton (born 22 July 1977) is a Scottish politician who is the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the constituency of Edinburgh Western.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cole-Hamilton is the son of David John Cole-Hamilton and Elizabeth Ann Brown.[2]

After attending Madras College, a state school in St Andrews, he graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in politics, and was President of the Students' Representative Council from 1999-2000. He later worked in the voluntary sector and was formerly a Convener and Director of "Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights)".[3]

Political career[edit]

Cole-Hamilton stood in several constituencies unsuccessfully as a Lib Dem candidate in Scottish Parliament elections in 2003 for the Kirkcaldy constituency; 2007 in Stirling and 2011 in Edinburgh Central.

In the United Kingdom general election, 2005 he stood in the constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

In 2016, after standing successfully for Edinburgh Western Constituency of the Scottish Parliament, his electoral expenses were investigated,[4][5] [6][7] according to the Edinburgh Evening News: "Mr Cole-Hamilton recorded the highest election costs of any Edinburgh candidate, spending £32,549 on his campaign while his rival for the Edinburgh Western seat, SNP candidate Tony Giugliano, spent £18,593."[8] The case was dismissed in October 2017.[9]

His colleague in Westminster, the Liberal Democrat for Edinburgh West Christine Jardine with whom he shares an office, has also been the target of electoral expenses allegations.[10]

He is currently the Scottish Liberal Democratic spokesperson for Health.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He has a wife, Gillian, and three children.[12]

The Cole-Hamilton family is of Irish Planter origin, but a branch has lived in Scotland for over a century.[13]

His ancestors include the Venerable Richard Mervyn Cole-Hamilton,[14] and John Cole, 1st Baron Mountflorence of Florence Court (1709 – 1767).[15] Other relatives include Anni Cole-Hamilton, founder of the private Moray Firth School.[16] and Air Vice Marshal John Cole-Hamilton (1894 – 1945).[17] His ancestor Arthur Cole-Hamilton was MP for Tyrone in 1780.[12]

His relative John Cole-Hamilton was Provost of Kilwinning from 1940 until 1947, Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the County of Ayr in 1951, and Chairman of the Central Ayrshire Conservative Party when that constituency was formed, and Richard Cole-Hamilton, former chief executive of the Clydesdale Bank.[18]

He is a surfer.[12]


  1. ^ "Election 2016: Edinburgh Western". BBC News. 6 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Alexander Geoffrey Cole-Hamilton". The Peerage. 5 July 2017. 
  3. ^ "Alex Cole-Hamilton, Register of Interests". Scottish Parliament Website. Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "LibDem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton reported to fiscal over campaign spending". The Herald. 5 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Liberal campaign leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP reported by police over election spending". CommonSpace. 5 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "Police probe 'irregularities' in MSP's election spending". STV. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton reported over Holyrood campaign spending". BBC News. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton faces expenses probe". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Staff writer (18 August 2017). "Lib Dem Christine Jardine denies election spending breach". BBC. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Scottish A&E waiting times show improvement". BBC News. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  12. ^ a b c "Getting to know you - Alex Cole-Hamilton". Holyrood Magazine. 5 July 2017. 
  13. ^ Cole-Hamilton family on The Peerage
  14. ^ "Venerable Richard Mervyn Cole-Hamilton". Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  15. ^ "John Cole, 1st Baron Mountflorence of Florence Court". Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Anni Cole-Hamilton". 5 July 2017. 
  17. ^ "Air Vice Marshal John Cole-Hamilton". Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  18. ^ "John Cole- Hamilton". The Herald. 5 July 2017. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Scotland
Preceded by
Colin Keir
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Edinburgh Western