Gillian Martin

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Gillian Martin

Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Aberdeenshire East
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byAlex Salmond
Majority5,837 (16.8%)
Personal details
Political partyScottish National Party
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow

Gillian Anne Martin is a Scottish politician. She is the Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Aberdeenshire East constituency.

Early life[edit]

Martin grew up in Newburgh[1] and was educated at Ellon Academy.[2] Her parents have always been politically active.[3] A graduate of the University of Glasgow, she worked as a lecturer in further education for 15 years alongside running her own business in video production and training for the energy sector, however upon election to the Scottish Parliament she ceased operation of this business. She was the manager of an emergency media response team for oil and gas companies for 10 years.[4]


She has worked as a lecturer for 15 years in TV production.[5] She was a lecturer at North East Scotland College.[2]

Political activist[edit]

Martin became politically active during the Scottish independence referendum.[6] She helped found Women for Independence (WFI).[7] She was on the WFI executive committee as the member for North East region, and has continued participation as an ordinary member since becoming an MSP.[2]

She joined the SNP on 19 September 2014, on the morning after the Scottish independence referendum.[5] She was emerged as a candidate for the Aberdeenshire East constituency of the Scottish Parliament in July 2015.[2] and was selected by local party members the following month.[8] She was elected to serve as MSP in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.[9] The seat was previously held by Alex Salmond.

Parliamentary work[edit]

Martin brought forward the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill.[10] The purpose of the Bill is to introduce a requirement to Scottish law that all dedicated home-to-school transport service vehicles are fitted with seat belts, as there is presently no UK legal obligation for the provision of seatbelts on such vehicles.

On 27 June 2018 the Scottish Government announced that Martin would be appointed Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.[11] Following media attention around a series of offensive blogs Martin wrote during her time as a college lecturer, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon subsequently withdrew Martin's nomination when presenting her new ministerial team to the Scottish Parliament for approval.[12][13]

In September 2018, Martin was appointed as Convener of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

From 2016 to 2018 Martin was co-convenor of the Scottish Parliament cross-party group on Oil and Gas.[14] She has used her time in parliament to highlight the downturn of the oil and gas sector in the North East, and the effect it has had on those living in Aberdeenshire East. Martin has spoken out on behalf of workers who have been discriminated against due to their oil and gas connections,[15] and has been a vocal supporter of the efforts being by the Scottish Government made to assist those facing unemployment.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Martin is married to a teacher and has two children. She lives in Newmachar, Aberdeenshire.


In 2018, Martin apologised "unreservedly" for "inappropriate and offensive" remarks she had posted on a blog about transgender people in 2007.[17] On 28 June 2018, she issued a second apology about offensive remarks made a decade earlier about the tipping habits of black customers.[18]


  1. ^ "Race to succeed Salmond". Inverurie Herald. 12 July 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Ross, Calum (3 July 2015). "New candidate nominated in race to succeed Alex Salmond". Press and Journal. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  3. ^ "#16for16: Gillian Martin". Weber Shandwick. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Gillian Martin". The SNP. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b Nutt, Kathleen (30 April 2016). "Gillian Martin: The referendum made me realise that my actions had to follow my words". The National. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  6. ^ Brooks, Libby (2 May 2016). "Scottish elections: new faces of Holyrood 2016". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  7. ^ Brown, Jonathan (16 September 2014). "Scottish independence: Even in Better Together heartland Aberdeen, the Yes campaign fights on". The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  8. ^ "SNP choose candidate for Shire East seat". Inverurie Herald. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  9. ^ Aberdeenshire East – BBC News
  10. ^ "Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill". 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  11. ^ "First Minister completes her ministerial team". Scottish Government. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  12. ^ Sanderson, Daniel. "New minister Gillian Martin mocked trans students on deleted blog". The Times. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Official Report". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Oil and Gas". 21 October 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  15. ^ Stalker, Fiona (13 February 2017). "Calls for oil and gas workers discrimination probe". BBC News. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) - Scottish Parliament". Broadcasting. Retrieved 2 July 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ "Gillian Martin issues an apology for calling transgender students 'hairy knuckled lipstick-wearing transitional laydees'". Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Gillian Martin issues second apology as more blog comments surface". Retrieved 30 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Scotland
Preceded by
Alex Salmond
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Aberdeenshire East