Brian Donohoe

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Brian Donohoe (footballer).
Brian Donohoe
Brian Donahoe.png
Donohoe, 2012
Member of Parliament
for Central Ayrshire
Cunninghame South (1992-2005)
In office
9 April 1992 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by David Lambie
Succeeded by Philippa Whitford
Personal details
Born (1948-09-10) 10 September 1948 (age 68)
Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Christine Pawson

Brian Harold Donohoe (born 10 September 1948) is a former British Labour Party politician and former trade union official, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Ayrshire from 2005 until losing his seat in 2015. Prior to constituency boundary changes in 2005 he was MP for Cunninghame South and was first elected in 1992.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kilmarnock and educated at the Patna and Loudoun Montgomery Primary Schools, and the Irvine Royal Academy, Donohoe later attended the Kilmarnock Technical College, where he received a national certificate in Engineering in 1972. He was an apprentice fitter and turner at the Ailsa Shipyard in Troon from 1965, before becoming a draughtsman in 1969. In 1977 he spent a few months as an engineer at the Hunterston nuclear power plant, before joining ICI Organics Division as a draughtsman later in the year.

In 1981 Donohoe became a district officer for the National Association of Local Government Officers (NALGO), where he remained until his election to Westminster.

An active trade unionist, he was a convenor for the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section (TASS) 1969-81. He was elected as the treasurer of the Cunninghame South Constituency Labour Party for eight years in 1983.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Donohoe was elected to the House of Commons at the 1992 General Election for the Cunninghame South seat on the retirement of the sitting Labour MP David Lambie. Donohoe held the seat with a majority of 10,680, and was an MP until 2015 when he was defeated at the general election by the Scottish National Party's Phillippa Whitford. He made his maiden speech on 13 May 1992.[1] In parliament he served as a member of the Transport Select Committee, in its various forms, from 1993 until 2005. He has been a member of the Administration Select Committee since the 2005 General Election.

In November 2008, Donohoe was one of 18 MPs who signed a Commons motion backing a Team GB football team at the 2012 Olympics, saying football "should not be any different from other competing sports and our young talent should be allowed to show their skills on the world stage". The football governing bodies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all opposed to a Great Britain team, fearing it would stop them competing as individual nations in future tournaments.

Donohoe opposes same-sex marriage and has stated that he will oppose the rest of his party and vote against the government bill to introduce "equal marriage" in England and Wales.[2]

In the United Kingdom general election, 2015 Donohoe was beaten in the constituency of Central Ayrshire by the SNP's Philippa Whitford by a margin of 13,589. After his defeat, Donohoe said that he was "disappointed" to lose but that there was a silver lining: "I'm of an age where I can now turn round with the greatest delight and tell people to 'fuck off!' which I haven’t been able to do for a hell of a long time in both my trade union life and also in this one. You have to take all sorts coming through the door and be kind, considerate and generous with your time and sometimes you wonder why. But at the end of it you're there and I've always made the pledge as an MP that I wasn't just there to represent the people who voted for me, I was there to help."[3]

After the Chilcot Report investigating the Iraq War was released, Donohoe stated he was "not convinced" it gave any fresh insight into the controversial decision to invade Iraq. Donohoe had voted for the invasion, but a year later he said he would have voted against had he known Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Christine Pawson in 1973 and they have two sons. He takes a particular interest in renationalising the British railway system. Donohoe is a serving Special Constable with the British Transport Police.[5] He is also a devoted fan of the television soap opera Coronation Street. Donohoe's seat of Cunninghame South was abolished, and between 2005 and 2015 he represented the redrawn seat of Ayrshire Central. He is the secretary of Rangers Supporters Club.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Lambie
Member of Parliament for Cunninghame South
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Central Ayrshire
Succeeded by
Philippa Whitford