Chris Law

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Chris Law
Official portrait, 2019
SNP Spokesperson for International Development in the House of Commons
In office
20 June 2017 – 8 December 2022
LeaderIan Blackford
Preceded byAlex Salmond
Succeeded byBrendan O'Hara
Member of Parliament
for Dundee West
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byJim McGovern
Majority12,259 (29.5%)
Personal details
Christopher Murray Alexander Law

(1969-10-21) 21 October 1969 (age 54)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
WebsiteOfficial website

Christopher Murray Alexander Law (born 21 October 1969) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee West since 2015. He was first elected at the 2015 general election,[1][2] winning a seat that had been held by Labour for the previous 65 years.[3] He served as SNP Spokesperson for International Development from 2017 to 2022, resigning from his position after the election of Stephen Flynn.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Law was born in Edinburgh in 1969 and grew up in Fife, where he attended Glenwood High in Glenrothes then later Madras College in St Andrews.[5] Law later trained as a French chef, then went to the University of St Andrews where he received a degree in Social Anthropology. He developed a love of India while at university[6] and for ten years operated a business providing tours of the Himalayas on 1950s motorcycles. For a decade after returning to Scotland he operated a business as a financial adviser in Dundee. Law initially joined the SNP in 1999, and rejoined after returning to the UK in 2010.

In March 2018, Law said that he had spent time in social care in his teenage years in St Andrews.[7] In January 2019, he wrote about caring for his mother who had multiple sclerosis and supported a campaign by the i newspaper to raise money for MS Society.[8]

Spirit of Independence[edit]

Law was a prominent Yes Scotland campaigner during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum and was the founder of the Spirit of Independence road tour of communities that toured Scotland in a refurbished Green Goddess fire engine. The tour was launched by the actor Brian Cox in Dundee in August 2014.[9]

Prominent members of Scottish society interviewed by Law during the tour included Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins and politicians Humza Yousaf, Annabelle Ewing and Richard Lochhead.

Political career[edit]

Law was selected to contest the Dundee West constituency at the 2015 general election and received 27,684 votes – 61.9% – as he took the seat from Labour with a majority of 17,092 votes.[10] From 2015 to 2017 he served on the Scottish Affairs Committee.[11] At the 2017 general election, he retained his seat, receiving 18,045 votes (46.7%), down 15.3% compared to the 2015 general election two years previously. His majority was reduced to 5,262 votes - 13.6%.[12] Following his re-election, Law was appointed SNP Westminster Spokesperson for International Development and Climate Justice, and now sits as the only non-Labour or Conservative member on the International Development Committee.[13]

At the 2019 general election, he held his seat, receiving 22,355 votes (53.8%), up 7.1% compared to the 2017 election. His majority was increased to 12,259 - 29.5%.[14] Following his re-election, Law was appointed SNP Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, and continued to serve on the International Development Committee.[15]

During his first term (2015–17) as the Member of Parliament for Dundee West, Law fought against job losses at HMRC facilities in his constituency.[16] In his second term, he criticised the UK Government over HMRC's decision to close their Sidlaw House facility in Dundee in 2022 and move jobs to a new facility in Edinburgh.[17]

In September 2017, Law signed a joint letter denouncing the Spanish Government's efforts to block the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.[18]

Law was a notable critic of Aung San Suu Kyi following the Myanmar Rohingya refugee crisis, and repeatedly called for her Freedom of the City of Dundee to be stripped. In March 2018, just days before a visit to the country with the International Development Committee to investigate allegations of human rights abuses, the visas issued to members of the Committee including Law were denied.[19]

On 25 April 2018, Law secured a debate in Westminster Hall on 'Protecting Children in Conflict'.[20] In his speech, he called on the UK Government to do more to protect and prevent violence against children in conflict zones, such as Yemen and South Sudan.

Law served as the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Video Games.[21] In October 2018, Law backed The Independent Game Developers' Association's calls for a Video Games Investment Fund in the Chancellor's Autumn Budget.

In 2020, Law joined the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing which has been subject to criticism by some campaigners on whistleblowing law reform.[22][23]

Political views[edit]

Law is a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[24]

He is a supporter of the right of self-determination for Tibet. In Autumn 2018, he addressed the Central Tibetan Administration on a visit to Dharamshala.[25] As co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, Law and fellow co-chair Tim Loughton called for the EU to adopt an equivalent to the US Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.[26]

He has been a supporter of drug reform laws. Following his re-election in 2019, he backed the decriminalisation of drugs and the establishment of drug consumption rooms in Dundee.[27]


  1. ^ "List of Members returned to Parliament at the General Election 2015 Scotland". The Edinburgh Gazette. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Election Live: Tory majority as Miliband, Clegg, Farage quit - BBC News". 7 May 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  3. ^ Liddle, Andrew (8 May 2015). "General Election 2015: SNP's Chris Law 'puts Labour into retirement' with victory in Dundee West". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  4. ^ "SNP revolt grows as third MP quits frontbench after Flynn's election". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  5. ^ Bircham, Josh; Costello, Grant (2015). We Are The 56. Glasgow: Freight Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-910449-51-6.
  6. ^ "Meet your new Scottish MPs: #24 Chris Law, Dundee West". The National. 13 June 2015.
  7. ^ "The fourth emergency service: MP Chris Law hails foster families as he reveals he spent years of childhood in care". The Sunday Post. 25 March 2018.
  8. ^ Morris, Nigel (1 January 2019). "Christmas appeal: I was racked with guilt after watching my mother die – we need more investment in MS research". The i. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  9. ^ Williamson, Lynda (11 August 2014). "Actor Brian Cox launches 'Spirit of Independence' in Dundee". Newsnet Scotland. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Dundee West Election Results". 27 April 2015. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Chris Law MP". 22 October 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Dundee West parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Membership - International Development Committee". Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Dundee West parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  15. ^ Beaton, Ailean (7 January 2020). "Full list of SNP Westminster front bench and spokespeople 2020". Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  16. ^ "'Outrage' as HMRC to close offices in Dundee". Evening Telegraph. 13 November 2018.
  17. ^ Healey, Derek (23 March 2019). "Calls for urgent action over future of Sidlaw House staff left in limbo following jobs transfer 'betrayal'". The Courier. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Spain and the Catalan referendum". The Guardian. London. 21 September 2017.
  19. ^ "MP calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be stripped of Freedom of Dundee". The Courier Dundee. 3 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Chris Law MP: The government must protect the harrowing numbers of children living in conflict zones". Politics Home. 24 April 2018.
  21. ^ "ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON VIDEO GAMES". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Meet the team". APPG Whistleblowing. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Home". The Whistler. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  24. ^ "In conversation with SNP MP Chris Law". 8 May 2015. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  25. ^ "Tibet's Cause At the Heart of UK Parliamentarians". 29 September 2019. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  26. ^ Shaw, Steve (22 June 2020). "Will the EU Start Standing Up to China Over Repression in Tibet?". Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  27. ^ Devlin, Laura (17 December 2019). "'Decriminalisation is where we need to go' – Dundee MP's speak out on the city's drug crisis". Retrieved 20 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Dundee West