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Gordon McMaster

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Gordon McMaster
Member of Parliament
for Paisley South
In office
29 November 1990 – 28 July 1997
Preceded byNorman Buchan
Succeeded byDouglas Alexander
Personal details
Born(1960-02-13)13 February 1960
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died28 July 1997(1997-07-28) (aged 37)
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Political partyLabour

Gordon James McMaster (13 February 1960 – 28 July 1997) was a Scottish politician and horticulturist.

Life and career


McMaster was born in Johnstone. A horticulturist by training, he was also a lecturer at his alma mater, the Woodburn House Horticultural College.[1] McMaster was very well-liked by his students for his knowledge and charm.

In 1980, McMaster was elected to the Johnstone Community Council, and became its chair in 1982, at the age of 22, making him the youngest chair of any Scottish council.[1] He was elected to the Renfrew District Council in 1984 and became its leader in 1987.[1] He was elected to the House of Commons for Paisley South in a 1990 by-election, triggered by the death of Norman Buchan. In parliament, he campaigned for the rights of disabled people and against recreational drug use. He served as an opposition whip.[1]



McMaster died by suicide in the garage of his home in Johnstone on 28 July 1997, at the age of 37.[2] He had been robbed in London shortly before his death. His suicide note named neighbouring MP Tommy Graham as being responsible for smearing him over an alleged homosexual relationship with Graham's employee, 17 year old Scott Anderson. This was denied by Graham, who was subsequently expelled from the Labour Party.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Dalyell, Tam (28 July 1997). "Obituary: Gordon McMaster". The Independent. London. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Labour defends Paisley South amid allegations of 'sleaze'". BBC News. 27 October 1997. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  3. ^ Gordon McMaster was not my enemy, says suspended MP, Euan McColm and Peter Macmahon, The Scotsman, 1997-09-18
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Paisley South
Succeeded by