Gail Ross

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Gail Ross

Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Preceded byRob Gibson
Personal details
Political partyScottish National Party
Domestic partnerStuart Ross

Gail Elizabeth Ross is the Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross since the election in May 2016. She was a councillor on the Highland Council 2011–2016, and civic leader of Caithness 2012–2016.

Early life[edit]

Ross grew up in Reiss and Wick, Caithness.[1] She studied in Glasgow, first a combination of advertising and PR, later English and psychology.[2]

Political career[edit]

She joined the SNP in 1997.[2] She was first elected to Highland council in a by-election in 2011.[3] At the time her success was considered a breakthrough for the SNP.[4][5] She was re-elected in May 2012.[6]

Civic leader[edit]

In May 2012, following re-election to Highland Council, she became the civic leader of Caithness.[7]

In August 2015, Ross spoke out against the Grindadráp, a Faroese traditional celebration of whaling, suggesting that on account of this that Wick should reconsider their twinning arrangement with the town of Klaksvík.[8] Ross wrote to the mayor of Klaksvík to raise her concerns that the whaling was not something that Wick should be associated with.[9] In January 2016 the matter was brought to the Highland Council,[10] which led to an intervention from Klaksvík's mayor.[11] The council deferred making a decision.[12]

Scottish Parliament[edit]

In August 2015, she was announced as the SNP candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, in place of the retiring Rob Gibson.[13] She has called for increased provision of ambulances in Caithness.[14] She has highlighted the need for affordable housing in the Highlands.[2] In May 2016 she was elected with a majority of 3,913.[15] The following month she was elected as the deputy convener of the Rural Affairs and Connectivity Committee.[16]

In November 2016 she resigned her position on Highland council after other Caithness councillors called for an independent review into the introduction of midwife-led maternity services in their area made by NHS Highland. Ross supported the decision by NHS Highland to proceed with the reconfiguration to a Community Maternity Unit (CMU) at Caithness General Hospital, which had been recommended on safety grounds following a review.[17]

Executive positions[edit]

She is a member of the board of North Highland College.[18]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to a teacher and they have a son together.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Wick's Gail Ross confirms re-election bid". John O'Groat Journal. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Spowart, Nan (2 May 2016). "Affordable housing at very top of the agenda for SNP hopeful Gail Ross". The National. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  3. ^ "SNP wins Highland Council by-election for Wick ward". BBC News. 8 April 2011.
  4. ^ "By-election victory 'a major breakthrough' for SNP". STV News. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Wick by-election: SNP's 'major breakthrough' in Lib Dem heartlands". 10 April 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Highland Council election results". 4 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Civic leader role 'a tremendous honour'". John O'Groat Journal. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  8. ^ Ross, David (20 August 2015). "Wick leaves Faroese twin over whales". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  9. ^ Vidal, John (21 August 2015). "Scottish town cuts twinned link to Faroe Islands over whale killings". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Whaling row could end Wick's twinning link with Klaksvik". BBC News. 8 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Mayor offers talks to resolve Klaksvik-Wick twinning row". BBC News. 11 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Councillors defer a decision on Wick's twinning link with Klaksvik". BBC News. 13 January 2016.
  13. ^ "SNP select candidate intent on replacing Rob Gibson as Ross MSP". Ross-shire Journal. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Call for increased ambulance provision in Caithness". BBC News. 11 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Holyrood 2016: SNP hold Highlands and Islands seats". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  16. ^ Kirkaldy, Liam (17 June 2016). "Edward Mountain elected convener of the Rural Affairs and Connectivity Committee". Holyrood. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  17. ^ "MSP Gail Ross quits council amid maternity services row". BBC News. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  18. ^ "about us: governance: board of management". North Highland College. Retrieved 4 April 2017.

External links[edit]