Ian Duncan, Baron Duncan of Springbank

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The Lord Duncan of Springbank
Official portrait of Lord Duncan of Springbank crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Climate Change
In office
26 July 2019 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byThe Lord Henley
Succeeded byThe Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
27 October 2017 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded byThe Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Succeeded byThe Lord Caine (2021)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
15 June 2017 – 26 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Lord Dunlop
Succeeded byRobin Walker
Colin Clark
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
In office
17 June 2017 – 27 October 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Succeeded byThe Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
20 July 2017
Life Peerage
Member of the European Parliament
for Scotland
In office
1 July 2014 – 22 June 2017
Preceded byStruan Stevenson
Succeeded byThe Baroness Mobarik
Personal details
Born (1973-02-13) February 13, 1973 (age 48)[1]
Scotland, United Kingdom
Political partyScottish Conservative
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
University of Bristol
ProfessionPolicy developer

Ian James Duncan, Baron Duncan of Springbank (born 13 February 1973) is a Scottish politician serving as a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords. A member of the Conservative Party, was formerly Minister for Climate Change in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and minister in the Northern Ireland Office. He initially joined the UK Government as a Scotland Office minister following the 2017 UK general election. Duncan was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Scotland from 2014 to 2017. He is the only minister to have served in each of the UK Government's territorial offices.

Early life[edit]

Duncan was born in 1973 and raised in Alyth, Perthshire, where he attended Alyth High School. He achieved a BSc degree in geology from the University of St Andrews in 1994, and subsequently earned a PhD degree in paleontology from the University of Bristol in 1997.[2]

Career before politics[edit]

During the late 1990s, Duncan served as a policy analyst for BP's political affairs team where he worked on the company's strategy for emerging economic prospects in post-communist eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.[3]

In 1999 Duncan became the Deputy Chief Executive, and Secretary for the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, where he developed policy and worked closely with the European Union, namely lobbying for the development of a regional management model which was later adopted by the European Commission.

From 2004-2005 he acted as the Head of Policy & Communication for the Scottish Refugee Council, a charity which offers advice to those taking asylum within Scotland.[4]

Duncan served as Head of the EU Office for the Scottish Parliament in Brussels from 2005 and 2011. Thereafter he was appointed Clerk to the Parliament's European Committee and EU Advisor to the Parliament. He resigned from his position in 2013 to pursue candidacy for the upcoming European elections with the Scottish Conservatives, following Struan Stevenson's announcement that he would not seek re-election.

Political career[edit]

Member of the European Parliament[edit]

As a candidate for the Scottish Conservatives at the 2014 European elections,[2] Duncan campaigned on a platform of delivering reform in the European Union as well as an in-out referendum within three years.[5]

Duncan sat on three committees of the European Parliament - the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Fisheries.[6] He was the European Parliament's Rapporteur on post 2020 reforms to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

From 2014 Duncan served as the Chief Whip of the UK Conservative Delegation. He was also a Vice-Chair of the Wine, Spirits and Quality Foodstuffs intergroup in the European Parliament.[7]

In 2017, Duncan was ranked as the 10th most influential MEP on environmental policy in the European Parliament.[8] and the 6th most influential on energy policy.[9] EurActiv ranked Duncan as the 15th most influential politician on energy union in Europe in 2016.[10]

Duncan resigned from being an MEP in 2017.[11] He was replaced by The Baroness Mobarik.[12]

UK Parliament candidate[edit]

Duncan was selected by the Scottish Conservatives as their candidate for Perth and North Perthshire in the 2017 UK General Election. He lost to incumbent Pete Wishart (SNP) by 21 votes.[13]

UK Government Minister[edit]

Despite failing to win the seat of Perth from Pete Wishart of SNP,[14] the Prime Minister's Office announced in June 2017 that Duncan would be granted a life peerage and thus become a member of the House of Lords, in order to take up his appointment as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and for Wales.[15] On 14 July, he was created Baron Duncan of Springbank, of Springbank in the County of Perth.[16]

Following a reshuffle Duncan was appointed a Minister in the Northern Ireland Office and demitted office in the Wales Office.[17] He retained his position in the Scotland Office until 2019.

On 29 July 2020, he became the first member of the House of Lords to ask a virtual question on a moving train.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Outside politics Duncan maintains a keen interest in public speaking. He is the Honorary President of English Speaking Union Scotland, previously serving as Chairman (2014–2017) and Speech & Debates Officer.[19] Duncan is a former ESU US Debating Scholar (1995). He retains links to academia, acting as an advisor to St Andrews University's Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research. Duncan is a Fellow of the Geological Society.[20]

In 2014 Duncan was appointed to the board of advisers of the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California, established by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[21]

He is a patron of LGBT+ Conservatives[22] and is openly gay.


  1. ^ "Duncan of Springbank". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U281985. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Scottish Conservative Euro candidate elected to Brussels". Scottish Conservatives. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "MEP meets Oil Industry Chiefs to Hear of Budget Boosts". Scottish Conservative & Unionist. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  5. ^ "European election: Final push for Scottish votes". BBC News. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Ian DUNCAN - Parliamentary activities - MEPs - European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu.
  7. ^ "Intergroup "Wine, Spirits and Quality Foodstuffs" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Tints of Green: Who Influences Environmental Policy in the European Parliament and How?". VoteWatch. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Who are the most influential MEPs on energy policy?". VoteWatch. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Who is Most Influential on EU Energy Union Policy?" (PDF). EurActiv. 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Scottish MEP made a Lord to take Scotland Office job". BBC News. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Baroness to become new Scottish Conservative MEP". BBC News. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  13. ^ MacKay, Mark (9 June 2017). "Pete Wishart retains seat by narrow margin after fighting off Tory onslaught". The Courier. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  14. ^ Torcuil Crichton (23 June 2017). "Tories may sink as fast as fishermen's hope after Ian Duncan's appointment". Daily Record. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Full list of new ministerial and government appointments: June 2017". Gov.uk. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  16. ^ "No. 61998". The London Gazette. 19 July 2017. p. 13722.
  17. ^ "Ministers". Gov.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  18. ^ "House of Lords Goes Mobile". Gallery Guido. 29 July 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  19. ^ "Home - ESU Scotland". Home - ESU Scotland.
  20. ^ "Fellowship Directory results". The Geological Society of London. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  21. ^ "Scottish Tory MEP joins Schwarzenegger think tank". BBC News. 22 September 2016.
  22. ^ "The Conservative LGBT+ Group". LGBT+ Conservatives. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
European Parliament
Preceded by Member of the European Parliament
for Scotland

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
Succeeded by
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Position abolished
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Climate Change
Succeeded by
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Baron Duncan of Springbank
Followed by
The Lord Agnew of Oulton