Ian Davidson (British politician)

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Ian Davidson
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow South West
Glasgow Pollok (1997–2005)
In office
1 May 1997 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Jimmy Dunnachie
Succeeded by Chris Stephens
Majority 14,671 (46.2%)
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Govan
In office
9 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Jim Sillars
Succeeded by Mohammad Sarwar
Personal details
Born (1950-09-08) 8 September 1950 (age 68)
Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Morag Mackinnon[1]

Ian Graham Davidson (born 8 September 1950) is a Scottish Labour Co-operative politician, who was a Member of Parliament for successive Glasgow seats from 1992 until 2015; from 2005 to 2015 he represented Glasgow South West. Davidson previously worked as a Community Service Manager and for Janey Buchan when she was a Member of the European Parliament.

Davidson was the Chairman of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.[2]

Political career[edit]

He became an MP in 1992, originally for the seat of Glasgow Govan and, following boundary changes, for Glasgow Pollok from 1997 to 2005. After further major boundary changes across Scotland, Davidson stood in the 2005 general election for the new constituency of Glasgow South West, where he won the second biggest swing to Labour in Scotland. He is a member of the Public Accounts Select Committee and has lobbied to support the Scottish shipbuilding industry. He is also secretary of the Trade Union Group of Labour MPs.

In 2002 he criticised Prince Michael of Kent for 'squatting' in Kensington Palace. More recently he has criticised the Prince of Wales over his personal finances. He was the chair of Labour Against the Euro before it ceased campaigning following the 2003 decision by Gordon Brown that the five economic tests for Britain to join the euro had not been met.

During the debate in the House of Commons over the decision whether to have a referendum over the EU Treaty of Lisbon (5 March 2008), Davidson drew jeers from his Labour colleagues for branding New Labour supporters "Maoists and Trotskyists". Davidson was putting forward the case for disobeying the party line and voting for a referendum.

He is Chair of the Centre for a Social Europe,[3] a pro-EU but mildly Eurosceptic left-of-centre think tank. He has been a member of the Scotland Office Select Committee since the 2005 General Election.

From 1973 to 1974, Davidson was Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students.[4]

He is a supporter of Republic, a campaign to replace the British Monarchy with an elected head of state.[5]

In June 2011, Davidson accused the Scottish National Party of "narrow neo-fascism". The choice of language resulted in the Labour Party distancing itself from Davidson's comments, saying the use of the word "neo-fascist" was unacceptable, even in the heat of debate,[6] and Angus Robertson to call on him to resign as chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.[7]

On 25 October 2011 it was alleged that Ian Davidson had threatened to inflict "a doing" upon fellow committee member Eilidh Whiteford. Davidson subsequently made an apology to the committee for his use of the word "doing", repeating an apology given to Dr Whiteford while the relevant committee meeting was breaking up. He insisted that the phrase "having had a doing" had referred to the rebukes Dr Whiteford had received from himself and several other MPs and was in the context of stopping debate before additional committee members had the opportunity further to scold Dr Whiteford. Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative committee members all stated that no threats were made.[8][9][10] The 14 other people present, MPs and staff, were all interviewed by relevant whips and parliamentary authorities. None corroborated dr Whiteford's allegations. After this investigation the Labour Party stated that it amounted to a "smear campaign" against Davidson due to the forthcoming investigations chaired by Davidson into the SNP's referendum proposal.[11]

A member of the SNP politician Joan McAlpine's staff, Gail Lythgoe, was found to have emailed a women's equality group, supporting Whiteford and alleging that Davidson has a history of bullying women and called on them to demonstrate against him whilst asking them not to reveal SNP involvement in its instigation.[12][13] The email was later leaked and Lythgoe publicly apologised for making unsubstantiated allegations, with the Labour Party alleging that this was a result of an SNP "dirty tricks campaign" against Davidson and calling for an investigation.[12]

In September 2013, Davidson caused anger after he suggested the debate on Scottish independence was continuing only "in the sense there is a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted"[14]

In May 2015 he lost his seat to Chris Stephens of the SNP. Davidson indicated that he may support Britain's withdrawal from the European Union,[15] and indeed he later took up a key role in Vote Leave.[16]

In April 2017, Davidson announced his intention to stand in the 2017 General Election in the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat,[17] he was unsuccessful the seat was won by John Lamont of the Conservative Party.


During the 2009–10 Expenses Scandal, it emerged that Davidson claimed £87,699 in the four years to 2007, below the maximum permitted.


  1. ^ "House of Commons – The Register of Members' Financial Interests – Part 2: Part 2". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  2. ^ "Labour MP condemns 'rigged purge'". Heraldscotland.com. 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  3. ^ "Social-europe.org.uk". Social-europe.org.uk. Archived from the original on 22 September 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "UK political and parliamentary news, interviews, analysis, comment, blogs and podcasts". ePolitix.com. 1950-09-08. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Our Supporters". Republic. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  6. ^ "Storm over MP Ian Davidson's SNP 'neo-facist' remark". bbc.co.uk. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  7. ^ D'Arcy, Mark (23 June 2011). "Can Ian Davidson stay as chair after neo fascist jibe?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Labour MP Ian Davidson says sorry to select committee". BBC News. 2011-10-26. 
  9. ^ Tom Peterkin (2011-10-29). "Eilidh Whiteford ratchets up Ian Davidson row". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  10. ^ Cochrane, Alan (2011-11-01). "Bullying is a big problem. It's time the Nats stopped". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Simon (2011-10-26). "SNP dirty tricks row over Ian Davidson 'getting a doing' remark to female MP". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  12. ^ a b Robbie Dinwoodie (2011-11-01). "First Minister's aide linked to dirty tricks allegations". Heraldscotland.com. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  13. ^ "Ian Davidson row email 'went too far'". BBC News. 2011-11-01. 
  14. ^ McIntosh, Lindsay. "Davidson under fire for 'bayoneting' remarks". Times of Scotland. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "EU exit campaign to use SNP case for independence". www.scotsman.com. 
  16. ^ "Scots Brexit campaign hit by damaging Labour snub". HeraldScotland. 
  17. ^ "Tory MSP quits Holyrood to fight for Westminster seat". STV News. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jim Sillars
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan
Succeeded by
Mohammad Sarwar
Preceded by
Jimmy Dunnachie
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollok
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Glasgow South West
Succeeded by
Chris Stephens