Angela Constance

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Angela Constance
MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance.png
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities
In office
18 May 2016 – 26 June 2018
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Alex Neil
Succeeded by Aileen Campbell
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
In office
21 November 2014 – 18 May 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Michael Russell
Succeeded by John Swinney
Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment
In office
22 April 2014 – 21 November 2014
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Roseanna Cunningham
Minister for Youth Employment
In office
7 December 2011 – 22 April 2014
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Annabelle Ewing
Minister for Children and Young People
In office
20 May 2011 – 7 December 2011
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Adam Ingram
Succeeded by Aileen Campbell
Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning
In office
12 December 2010 – 20 May 2011
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Keith Brown
Succeeded by Alasdair Allan
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Almond Valley
Livingston (2007-2011)
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded by Bristow Muldoon
Majority 8,393
Personal details
Born (1970-07-15) 15 July 1970 (age 47)
Blackburn, West Lothian Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Gary Knox (m. 2000)
Children 1
Alma mater University of Glasgow
University of Stirling
Profession Social worker

Angela Constance (born 15 July 1970) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who served as Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities from May 2016 to June 2018. She has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Almond Valley since 2007, and has held a series of ministerial posts in the Scottish Government from 2010 to 2018.

Constance stood as a candidate for Deputy leader of the SNP in the party's 2014 leadership contest, but lost to Stewart Hosie.[1]

Early life[edit]

Constance was born in Blackburn, West Lothian, the daughter of Simon Constance, a coalminer, and Mary Constance (née Colquhoun). She was raised in Addiewell and West Calder. While studying at the University of Glasgow, Constance was elected President of Glasgow University Students' Representative Council, where her sabbatical vice president was Alasdair Allan, now SNP MSP for the Western Isles.

Before her election to Holyrood, Constance worked as a social worker and was a councillor for West Lothian Council where she was the SNP spokesperson for children's services and lifelong learning. She also stood for the SNP in the Livingston by-election, 2005.

Political career[edit]

Training, Youth and Women's employment[edit]

During the 2014 SNP spring conference, First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond promoted Constance to the Scottish Cabinet in the position of Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment. In the position, Constance was somewhat criticised by the opposition Scottish Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament, claiming that since Constance, youth unemployment in Scotland had actually risen.[2] In response to this, Constance stated:

These figures, based on data for 2013, show that the employment prospects are improving across much of Scotland, with women’s employment driving much of this improvement. “They also show that Scotland continues to outperformed the UK across all headline labour market indicators, with a lower unemployment rate, higher employment rate and lower economic inactivity rate.[2]

Previously, Constance was a junior Scottish cabinet member.[3]

SNP Depute leadership bid, 2014[edit]

Following defeat in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, Scottish National Party leader and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond announced his resignation as SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland.[4] In the aftermath of his resignation, a leadership bid was launched, and current Deputy First Minister of Scotland and SNP Depute leader Nicola Sturgeon was widely tipped to become Salmond's successor.[5][6]

On 30 September 2014, Constance officially launched her bid to become the Depute leader of the Scottish National Party,[7][8] competing against Stewart Hosie and Keith Brown.[9] It was later revealed by Constance that she was "not seeking the position of Deputy First Minister".[10]

The results of the election were announced at the SNP Autumn Conference on 14 November, with Constance losing the contest to Stewart Hosie, after being eliminated in the first round.[11]

Cabinet Secretary for Education[edit]

Following the election of Nicola Sturgeon as the First Minister, in November 2014, Constance was promoted as the Cabinet Secretary for Education within the Scottish Cabinet.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities[edit]

After the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, Nicola Sturgeon reshuffled her Cabinet. On 18 May, Constance was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities.

Personal life[edit]

After her election to Holyrood, Constance announced she was expecting her first child in October 2007.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC News - Angela Constance calls on SNP to 'build' independence case". BBC News. 
  2. ^ a b "Female minister promoted by Alex Salmond to attract women voters has 'record of failure'". Telegraph.co.uk. 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Four key things we learnt from the SNP conference". News - Telegraph Blogs. 
  4. ^ Carrell, Severin; Wintour, Patrick; Mason, Rowena (19 September 2014). "Alex Salmond resigns as first minister after Scotland rejects independence". the Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Cusick, James (21 September 2014). "Scottish referendum: Nicola Sturgeon edges closer to SNP leadership following Alex Salmond's resignation". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Scottish ministers 'back Sturgeon as next first minister'". BBC News. 21 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "MSP Angela Constance enters race to become next SNP deputy leader". dailyrecord. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Scottish referendum: Keith Brown and Stewart Hosie launch SNP deputy bids". BBC News. 25 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Angela Constance calls on SNP to 'build' independence case". BBC News. 1 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Stewart Hosie elected deputy leader of the SNP". BBC News. 14 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Bristow Muldoon
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Livingston
2007-2011
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Constituency created
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Almond Valley
2011–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Keith Brown
Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Alasdair Allan
Preceded by
Adam Ingram
Minister for Children and Young People
2011
Succeeded by
Aileen Campbell
Preceded by
Office created
Minister for Youth Employment
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Roseanna Cunningham
Preceded by
Office created
Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment
2014
Succeeded by
Roseanna Cunningham
Preceded by
Michael Russell
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
2014-2016
Succeeded by
John Swinney
Preceded by
Alex Neil
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities
2016-2018
Succeeded by
Aileen Campbell