Elaine Murray

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Elaine Murray
Elaine Murray.jpg
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council
Assumed office
23 May 2017
DeputyRob Davidson
Preceded byRonnie Nicholson
Councillor for Nith,
Dumfries & Galloway
Assumed office
5 May 2017
Preceded byColin Smyth
Scottish Labour Group Leader,
Dumfries & Galloway
Assumed office
15 May 2017
Preceded byRonnie Nicholson
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Dumfriesshire
Dumfries (1999-2011)
In office
6 May 1999 – 5 May 2016
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byOliver Mundell
Majority3,170 (9.9%)
Personal details
Born (1954-12-22) 22 December 1954 (age 64)
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Political partyScottish Labour Party
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge
OccupationMember of the Scottish Parliament

Elaine Kildare Murray (born 22 December 1954) is a Scottish Labour politician, Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council and former Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumfriesshire (previously Dumfries) since 1999. At the 1999, 2003 and 2007 elections, Murray increased her percentage share of the vote. She was Shadow Minister for the Environment in the Scottish Parliament.[1] She lost her seat in 2016.

As of May 2017, Murray is one of four councillors in Dumfries & Galloway who represent the Nith ward and was elected the Group Leader of Labour in the council.


Murray was born in 1954 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where her Scottish parents lived at the time. She was brought up in Edinburgh where she was a pupil at The Mary Erskine School[2] and graduated with an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Cambridge.

After graduating from Cambridge, Murray first worked in scientific research, and from 1990-93 was an associate lecturer for the Open University.[3] She worked for Alex Smith, Member of the European Parliament. In 1994 Murray was elected as a Councillor on Strathclyde Regional Council and in 1995 to South Ayrshire Council, where she was Convenor of Educational Services.[3]

Member of the Scottish Parliament[edit]

Murray was elected as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumfries Constituency following the first Scottish Parliamentary elections in May 1999.[1] She was re-elected in May 2003 and then again in May 2007.

Murray was appointed Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport upon Jack McConnell becoming First Minister in 2001, a post she held until 2003. She has been a member of a number of Committees in the Scottish Parliament, including holding the post of Deputy Convenor of the Finance Committee between 2007 and 2008. Under Wendy Alexander's leadership Dr Murray was Enterprise Spokesman[1] and upon election of Iain Gray as Leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament, she was appointed Shadow Minister for the Environment.[1]

Murray was a member of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee as well as Convenor of the Cross Party Groups on Science and Technology and Civil Nuclear Energy. She was also Vice-Convenor of the Life Sciences and Animal Welfare Cross Party Groups.[1]

In September 2011, Murray announced her candidacy for the deputy leadership of the Scottish Labour Party.[4] She withdrew in early November after failing to gain enough nominations. She claimed she could have got the sufficient number of nominations but said it was clear the Deputy Leadership role would go to a Westminster MP.[5]

In the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, Murray lost her seat to Oliver Mundell, a Conservative.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Elaine Murray MSP". Democracy Live. BBC News. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  2. ^ School Details - Mary Erskine, The Guide to Independent Schools; retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Dr Elaine Murray, MSP". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Elaine Murray to stand as Scottish Labour deputy leader". BBC News. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Labour deputy leader bid ends". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Holyrood 2016: Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson wins Edinburgh Central". BBC News. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Constituency created
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumfries
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Constituency created
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumfriesshire
Succeeded by
Oliver Mundell
Political offices
Preceded by
Office created
Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport
Succeeded by
Office abolished