Andrew Wilson (economist)

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Andrew Wilson
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Central Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
6 May 1999 – 31 March 2003
Preceded byConstituency established
Personal details
Born1970 (age 48–49)
Lanark, South Lanarkshire
Political partyScottish National Party
Alma materUniversity of Strathclyde
University of St. Andrews
OccupationEconomist, Communications

Andrew Wilson (born 1970 in Lanark, Scotland) is an economist, businessman and former Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP). He is a founding partner at strategic communications firm Charlotte Street Partners and chairs the Sustainable Growth Commission reporting to the First Minister of Scotland.

Early life[edit]

Whilst attending the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, (from where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in economics and politics) Wilson was elected Vice President of the Students Association and became National Convener of the Scottish National Party (SNP) student organisation, the Federation of Student Nationalists. He joined the Government Economic Service after graduation, serving with the Forestry Commission and Scottish Office, and in 1996 he started work at SNP Headquarters, Edinburgh, as a researcher to the Director of Business for Scotland, before entering employment with the Royal Bank of Scotland as a business economist in 1997.

Member of Scottish Parliament[edit]

Wilson was elected to the first session of the newly re-established Scottish Parliament, as one of five SNP MSPs to represent Central Scotland through the Additional Members System.[1]

Whilst an MSP he served variously in the Shadow Cabinet as the SNP Finance, Economy, Lifelong Learning and Transport Spokesperson. He was widely viewed by commentators as a rising star of the SNP, an iconoclast and pro-market economist he made much headway selling the idea of fiscal autonomy now called 'Devo-Max' to the mainstream business, media and society. It was adopted by The Scotsman, a unionist newspaper and later went on to win support across the political spectrum. He gave a controversial lecture at the party conference in 1999 promoting the idea Britishness could, should, and would survive independence. He later wrote a column for the Sunday Mail calling on Scots to support the English football team in the 2002 world cup finals. In policy he is credited with much of the work on the SNP's alternative to the private finance initiative, now The Scottish Futures Trust. He also promoted the case for a Scottish Sovereign wealth fund using the proceeds of North Sea Oil.

In 2003 he came within 520 votes of unseating Cathie Craigie in the first past the post contest for the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth seat, but when only three SNP MSPs were returned from Central Scotland he lost his place as an MSP.

After parliament[edit]

Following political service Wilson joined RBS Group working in a variety of roles including Deputy Chief Economist and since the 2008 crisis as Head of Group Communications.[2] He joined WPP in August 2012 working in a client facing role.[3]

He delivered the Donaldson Lecture at the 2013 SNP conference.[4]

In 2014 he launched a new strategic communications consultancy Charlotte Street Partners based in Edinburgh and London.[5] Along with co-founder Malcolm Robertson, he topped a list of "names to watch" published by The Scotsman in 2014.[6]

He was a Trustee of the John Smith Memorial Trust[7] and is a member of The John Smith Centre for Public Service at the University of Glasgow.[8] He is a former member of the Governing Board of the Scottish Crop Research Institute and between 2010 - 2015 he was a Director of Motherwell Football Club.[9][10] He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the David Hume Institute.[5]

He is a former columnist in Scotland on Sunday and writes occasional opinion pieces for other newspapers including The Scotsman, The Times, The Telegraph and The Daily Record.

In September 2016, he was appointed to chair the Sustainable Growth Commission reporting to the First Minister of Scotland.[11] In October 2017, he was also appointed to the Independent Commission on Referendums at University College London's Constitution Unit.[12]

Personal life[edit]

He has three children from his first marriage with whom he lives in Edinburgh.


  1. ^ "Previous MSPs: Session 1 (1999-2003): Andrew Wilson". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Andrew Wilson joins Governing Board of SCRI". Scottish Crop Research Institute. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  3. ^ Cartmell, Matt. "RBS Group's Andrew Wilson to take client-facing role at WPP". PRWeek. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  4. ^ Andrew Wilson (7 November 2013). "Andrew Wilson SNP Oct 19th 2013" – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b Murden, Terry (1 December 2013). "PR heavyweights unite to launch media consultancy". The Scotsman. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  6. ^ Murden, Terry (29 December 2013). "Faces to look out for in the year ahead". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  7. ^ "About us: Trust Board: Andrew Wilson". John Smith Memorial Trust. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  8. ^ "About us: The Board". Policy Scotland (University of Glasgow). Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  9. ^ Wilson, Andrew (1 March 2012). "Forging a brighter future". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Club Statement: Takeover Complete" (Press release). Motherwell Football Club. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Growth Commission panel named to 'inform SNP thinking'". Daily Business. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Independent Commission on Referendums". Retrieved 16 May 2018.

External links[edit]