Angus Robertson

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Angus Robertson
ABS Bild Robertson Tiroch Colin (cropped).jpg
Robertson in 2014
Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party
In office
13 October 2016 – 3 February 2018
LeaderNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byStewart Hosie
Succeeded byKeith Brown
Leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons
In office
23 May 2007 – 3 May 2017
DeputyStewart Hosie
Preceded byAlex Salmond
Succeeded byIan Blackford
SNP Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
10 May 2001 – 30 March 2015
LeaderAlex Salmond
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byAlex Salmond (International Affairs and Europe)
SNP Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
10 May 2001 – 30 March 2015
LeaderAlex Salmond
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byBrendan O'Hara
Member of Parliament
for Moray
In office
7 June 2001 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byMargaret Ewing
Succeeded byDouglas Ross
Personal details
Angus Struan Carolus Robertson

(1969-09-28) 28 September 1969 (age 51)
London, England
Political partyScottish National Party
Jennifer Dempsie
(m. 2016)
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen
WebsiteOfficial website

Angus Struan Carolus Robertson (born 28 September 1969) is a Scottish politician who served as Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) from 2016 to 2018 and Leader of the SNP in the British House of Commons from 2007 to 2017. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Moray from 2001 to 2017.

A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Robertson previously worked as a journalist. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 2001. In 2017, he sought re-election as the MP for Moray and lost to the Scottish Conservative candidate, Douglas Ross.[1] He was succeeded as SNP Westminster Leader by Ian Blackford.

Robertson resigned as SNP Depute Leader in February 2018, before launching the pro-independence think tank Progress Scotland in 2019, alongside Mark Diffley.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Robertson was born in Wimbledon, London, to a Scottish father, Struan, who was an engineer, and a German mother, Anna, who was a nurse. Robertson was brought up in Edinburgh and speaks fluent German. He was educated at Broughton High School, Edinburgh and the University of Aberdeen, where he graduated in 1991 with an MA Honours degree in politics and international relations. After university he embarked on a journalistic career, and worked as a foreign and diplomatic correspondent in Central Europe for the BBC World Service, and then for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF.[citation needed]


Robertson joined the Scottish National Party in 1984, at the age of 15, after being given a leaflet about the party's youth wing by Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers.

Before his election to the UK House of Commons in June 2001, he was the European and International Affairs Adviser to the SNP Group in the Scottish Parliament. During his first parliamentary session, Robertson was Scotland's youngest MP and was rated Scotland's "hardest working MP" according to statistics from the House of Commons.[3] He served as the SNP's spokesman on Defence and International Relations, and was well above average amongst MPs in the number of contributions he made in the House of Commons.[4] Robertson provided Swiss Senator Dick Marty a report containing what he calls 'a detailed report of numerous suspect movements of aircraft transiting through Scotland.[5]

Robertson's main political interests are Scottish independence, international and European affairs, defence, sustainable development and youth issues. In May 2007, he became SNP Leader in the House of Commons, following Alex Salmond's election as First Minister of Scotland.[6] Following the 2015 general election and the election of Salmond as MP for Gordon, it was confirmed that he would continue in his role as leader in the Commons. In September 2015, he was appointed to the Privy Council and as a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.[7][8]

In January 2016, Robertson said that British Prime Minister David Cameron should admit to British involvement in Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen: "Isn't it time for the Prime Minister to admit that Britain is effectively taking part in a war in Yemen that is costing thousands of civilians lives and he has not sought parliamentary approval to do this?"[9]

On 13 October 2016, he was elected Depute Leader of the SNP, replacing Stewart Hosie. Robertson received 52.5% of the votes, defeating Tommy Sheppard (25.5%), Alyn Smith (18.6%) and Chris McEleny (3.3%) in the election.[1] He resigned in February 2018.[10]

He lost his parliamentary seat to the Conservatives in the June 2017 UK general election.[11] He subsequently established and ran Progress Scotland, a pro-independence think-tank.[11] In February 2020, Robertson announced his intention to contest the Edinburgh Central constituency in the next Scottish Parliament election (due to be held in May 2021).[11]

Expenses claims[edit]

In 2015, The Daily Telegraph reported that Robertson's second home expenses had included a television costing £1,119, a £400 home cinema system, £500 for a bed, £20 for a corkscrew and £2,324 for a sofa bed.[12] The home cinema system was initially denied by the expenses office; however, Robertson appealed this decision and it was subsequently awarded.

In 2017 it was reported in several newspapers that Robertson had sold his second home in London, the mortgage on which was paid on expenses, as part of his divorce settlement. Robertson had previously pledged to repay the value of the expenses on the property and donate any profit to charity.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Robertson's wife, Jennifer Dempsie, is a former advisor to Alex Salmond. Dempsie campaigned to inherit Salmond's Scottish Parliament seat in Aberdeenshire East[14] but withdrew to focus on her business career.[15]

Outside politics Robertson is a music fan, and particularly likes Metallica and Belle and Sebastian.[16] He is a supporter of the Heart of Midlothian F.C football team.[17]

Select committees[edit]


In August 2016, he was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Austrian Republic.[18]

Positions held[edit]

  • SNP Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and for Defence (2001–present)
  • SNP Spokesperson for Europe and for Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2005–07)
  • SNP Westminster Group Deputy Leader (2005–07)
  • SNP Westminster Group Leader (2007–2017)


  • Robertson, Angus (2010). Why Vote SNP. Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84954-034-6.


  1. ^ a b "Angus Robertson named as SNP deputy leader". BBC News. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Marianne Taylor: The moral case for independence is clear, but it's a hard sell economically". HeraldScotland.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Angus Robertson MP, Moray". 27 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  5. ^ "European governments 'knew of' CIA flights | US news". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Robertson elected SNP's Westminster leader | Politics | The Guardian". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Westminster SNP leader appointed Privy Council". 9 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  8. ^ "SNP's Angus Robertson to become member of House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee". The Herald. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  9. ^ "David Cameron accused of silently taking Britain into Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen". The Independent. 20 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Robertson quits as SNP deputy leader". 3 February 2018 – via
  11. ^ a b c "Former SNP MP Angus Robertson to run for Holyrood in 2021". BBC News. 18 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  12. ^ Watt, Holly (4 May 2015). "SNP's Angus Robertson claims £80,000 for second home: MPs' expenses". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Robertson denies any wrongdoing over London flat". Inside Moray. 7 May 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  14. ^ Gordon, Tom (21 June 2015). "Salmond's former special adviser set to inherit his seat". The Herald.
  15. ^ Whitaker, Andrew (15 September 2015). "Fiona Hyslop to appear before MSPs over TITP funding". The Scotsman.
  16. ^ "Angus Robertson Interview: SNP Westminster Leader On Devolution, Independence, Greece...and Metallica". 10 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  17. ^ Robertson, Angus (21 May 2016). "Congrats to @HibsOfficial for a well deserved victory. Like many other Hearts fans I'm delighted for all Hibs supporters. #ScottishCupFinal".
  18. ^ "SNP's Angus Robertson receives honour for fostering links with Austria". Retrieved 30 September 2016.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Margaret Ewing
Member of Parliament
for Moray

Succeeded by
Douglas Ross
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alex Salmond
Leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Ian Blackford
Preceded by
Stewart Hosie
Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party
Succeeded by
Keith Brown