|Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
13 June 2015 – 15 August 2015
|Preceded by||Jim Murphy|
|Succeeded by||Kezia Dugdale|
|Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament|
13 September 2008 – 17 December 2011
|Preceded by||Wendy Alexander|
|Succeeded by||Johann Lamont|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament
for East Lothian
3 May 2007
|Preceded by||John Home Robertson|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Edinburgh Pentlands
6 May 1999 – 1 May 2003
|Preceded by||Constituency created|
|Succeeded by||David McLetchie|
7 June 1957 |
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
|Religion||Church of Scotland|
Iain Cumming Gray (born 7 June 1957) is a Scottish politician, currently a Labour Party Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the East Lothian constituency. He was the leader of Scottish Labour in the Scottish Parliament from 13 September 2008 to 17 December 2011. He resigned following his party's defeat in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections but, due to his experience, was selected as interim leader following the resignation of Jim Murphy due to Labour's unsuccessful 2015 General Election campaign where they lost forty seats and only retained one of Scotland's 59 seats.
A former aid worker and teacher of maths and physics, Gray was first elected to the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999 as the MSP for the Edinburgh Pentlands constituency, which he lost to the Conservatives in 2003. He was returned to parliament in 2007, for the East Lothian constituency. Following Wendy Alexander's resignation as Scottish Labour leader in 2008, Gray stood in the subsequent leadership election and was successful.
Initially, Gray oversaw some electoral successes for Scottish Labour, such as repelling SNP challenges in the Glenrothes (2008) and Glasgow North East (2009) by-elections, as well as Scottish Labour maintaining all of its 41 constituencies in the House of Commons at the 2010 General Election. The 2011 Scottish Parliament elections proved disastrous for the party, which lost 20 constituencies as the SNP won an outright majority of seats. Gray was re-elected as MSP for East Lothian with a narrow majority of 151 votes. Gray announced his resignation the day after the result, but remained in post as leader until his successor, Johann Lamont, took over in December 2011.
In June 2015, Gray was appointed Acting Leader of Scottish Labour whilst a leadership and a deputy leadership election were being simultaneously held, on account of the Deputy Leader, Kezia Dugdale, resigning to run for Leader.
Background and early career
Gray was educated at Inverness Royal Academy and privately at George Watson's College, Edinburgh before studying physics at the University of Edinburgh and training as a maths and physics teacher at Moray House College of Education. After graduation he worked as a maths and physics teacher at Gracemount High School in Edinburgh, before a teaching stint in Mozambique. He then spent twelve years as the Campaigns Director for the Scottish arm of the aid charity Oxfam. Gray is a lifelong fan of Edinburgh football club Hibernian, and enjoys reading, music and hill walking.
Gray has been married twice. His first wife, Linda Malloch, divorced him and later married Gray's long-time friend Kevin Dunion, the Scottish Information Commissioner. Gray married his second wife Gill (a part-time constituency secretary to Labour MSP Mary Mulligan) in 1997, with whom he has two step-daughters.
In 1999, immediately after his election to Holyrood he was made a deputy minister in the first Scottish Executive under Donald Dewar and following Jack McConnell becoming First Minister in 2001 he was promoted to Minister for Social Justice. After the sudden resignation of Wendy Alexander (following disagreements with McConnell) in 2002, Gray took over her role as Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, where he was responsible for overseeing changes to Scottish higher education.
In the 2003 election, Gray was defeated by Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie, whom he had beaten in 1999. Leaving Holyrood, he went to work as a special adviser under Secretary of State Alistair Darling MP at the Scotland Office in London and initially announced he would not be seeking re-election.
Having subsequently a change of mind, he was selected as the Labour candidate for East Lothian for the 2007 election and subsequently won. Gray was appointed Labour's shadow spokesman for enterprise, energy and tourism upon his return to Parliament.
Following the resignation of Wendy Alexander over a foreign donation scandal, Gray announced in July 2008 that he would stand in the contest to find the next leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament, and was elected to this post in September 2008.
In December 2010, Iain Gray sparked a diplomatic row when he appeared to claim in parliament that Montenegro had been involved in ethnic cleansing and war crimes during the 1990s Balkans Conflict.
On 7 April 2011, while campaigning in Glasgow Central station for the Scottish Parliament Election, Gray was forced to cancel an event due to disruption by a group protesting against public service spending cuts. He quickly left the station and ran into a nearby Subway sandwich shop to escape the protesters, who followed him into the shop and continued to heckle him. Gray later stated that he had not been unsettled by the incident as "I spent two years working in the civil war in Mozambique, I've been to Rwanda two months after the genocide, I walked the killing fields in Cambodia and I was in Chile three days after Pinochet was demitted from office".
Gray was re-elected as MSP for East Lothian during the 2011 Holyrood election; his majority was the narrowest of his political career – just 151 votes over the SNP candidate, making the Holyrood seat for the first time ever a Labour–SNP marginal. He announced on 6 May that he would stand down as party leader in the autumn.
Gray was reappointed to the post of Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet on 29 June 2013.
On 13 June 2015, Gray was appointed Acting Leader of the Scottish Labour Party whilst a leadership and a deputy leadership election were simultaneously held, on account of the Deputy Leader, Kezia Dugdale, resigning to run for Leader. In the 2016 Holyrood election, while several Labour MSPs lost their constituency seats Gray retained his seat with an increased majority compared to 2011.
- Deveney, Catherine (27 March 2011). "Interview: Iain Gray, Scottish Labour leader". Scotland on Sunday. Edinburgh. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Scottish Labour agree to swathe of party reforms – and new leader will be announced on August 15th". LabourList. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- Wojtas, Olga (10 May 2002). "In the news: Iain Gray". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- Mulholland, Helene (8 August 2008). "Scottish Labour leadership: who is running?". guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- Aitken, Mark (16 January 2011). "Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray reveals how he fell for wife – at the football". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
- Bowditch, Gillian (4 October 2008). "The colourful side of Labours Gray man". The Times. London.
- Brady, Brian; Allardyce, Jason; MacLeod, Murdo (28 April 2002). "Politicians keep it in the family while taxpayers pay the price". The Scotsman. Edinburgh.
- "Who's who in the Scottish Cabinet". BBC News. 28 November 2001.
- "Profile: Wendy Alexander". The Daily Telegraph. London. 16 August 2007.
- "Wendy Alexander: Labour's short-lived Scottish leader". The Guardian. London. 28 June 2008.
- "Gray becomes Scots Labour leader". bbc.co.uk. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- "Scottish election: Iain Gray targeted by protesters". BBC News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- "Iain Gray seeks refuge in Subway sandwich shop after being confronted by protesters". STV News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- Iain Gray biography at the Scottish Parliament website
- Scottish Government biography
- Gray becomes Scots Labour leader BBC News
- Labour frontline team announced BBC News
|Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Pentlands
John Home Robertson
|Member of the Scottish Parliament for East Lothian
|Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning
|Minister for Social Justice
|Deputy Minister for Justice
|Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament
|Acting Leader of the Scottish Labour Party