Ian Murray (British politician)

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Ian Murray
Ian Murray MP Morningside Clock2.JPG
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
11 May 2015 – 26 June 2016
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Margaret Curran
Succeeded by Dave Anderson
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh South
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Nigel Griffiths
Majority 2,637 (5.4%)
Personal details
Born (1976-08-10) 10 August 1976 (age 40)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Hannah Woolfson
Alma mater University of Edinburgh

Ian Murray (born 10 August 1976) is a British Labour Party politician who has represented Edinburgh South as Member of Parliament (MP) since the 2010 general election.[1]

He served as an Edinburgh City Councillor for Liberton & Gilmerton Ward from 2003 to 2010,[2] before his Westminster election as an Edinburgh MP.

Murray is the only Labour Party MP representing a Scottish constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Early life and education[edit]

Murray was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a cooper father and shop worker mother in 1976. Brought up in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh, he attended Dumbryden Primary School,[3] then Wester Hailes High School, before going up to read Social Policy and Law at the University of Edinburgh's Academy of Government. He graduated with an honours degree (BA) at the age of 20; whilst at university he supported his studies with part-time job in a local fish & chip shop before setting up and running a pizza delivery service.

After graduation, Murray worked for Royal Blind in pensions management, before being head-hunted by an Edinburgh-based internet television station (Worldart.com) during the dot.com boom where he helped to build a new online TV station. Despite his efforts, the company ran out of funding and was made redundant; he then founded his own event management business (100 mph Events Ltd).

Murray also organised a student exchange programme in Nepal to fund school buildings and staff.[4]

In 2003, Murray stood in the council elections for Liberton winning the seat for Labour at the age of 27; he later represented the larger Liberton & Gilmerton Ward from 2007 to 2010.

Parliamentary career[edit]

2010–2015 Parliamentary term[edit]

Murray was returned for the seat of Edinburgh South at the 2010 General Election.

Murray served on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Select Committee. In 2011, he was appointed to the Shadow Frontbench.[5]

2014 Scottish independence referendum[edit]

In the 2014 Scottish independence referendum Murray campaigned for a 'No' vote. He claims to have encountered hostility from independence activists and reported that his office premises had been plastered with pro-independence "Yes" stickers,[6] which were immediately removed.

2015–2020 Parliamentary term[edit]

Murray was re-elected to his Edinburgh South constituency in the 2015 General Election with an increased share of the vote and an increased majority but following the SNP landslide he became the only Labour MP returned for a Scottish seat. He was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland on 11 May 2015 by Acting Labour Leader Harriet Harman. He was appointed to the same role by new Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015.

Directly following Corbyn's reshuffle in January 2016, three Shadow Ministers resigned and were criticised by the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, as being part of a "narrow right wing clique" aligned with the Blairite Progress group. Murray as a Progress member was interviewed on the Sunday Politics Scotland programme on 10 January 2016 and offered criticism of McDonnell, commenting that he should "ramp down the rhetoric".[7]

On 26 June 2016, around the same time as dozens of his colleagues, he resigned from the Shadow Cabinet, citing a lack of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.[8][9]

Shadow cabinet elections[edit]

Ian Murray said he would only return to Corbyn's frontbench if Corbyn reinstates shadow cabinet elections and to stop using deselection lists as a threat.[10]

Murray accused Corbyn of being "all over the place" on potential Labour cooperation with the SNP.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Murray lives with his long-term partner Hannah Catherine Woolfson.[12][13]

He supports Edinburgh football team Hearts and was previously Chair of the Foundation of Hearts, a bid by a fans' group to buy the club out of administration. He stepped down in May 2015 in order to focus on his parliamentary duties, and was duly replaced by current Chair Brian Cormack. [14][15]


  1. ^ "Labour succeeds in Edinburgh South recount seat". BBC News. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  2. ^ "By-election result - City of Edinburgh Council". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. 
  3. ^ www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk
  4. ^ "Ian Murray". Scottish Labour. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  5. ^ "You Shadow BIS Team". Labour Party. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Ian Murray row over pro-independence stickers". 
  7. ^ "Labour's Ian Murray critical of John McDonnell on Progress". BBC News. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Only Scots Labour MP Ian Murray quits shadow cabinet - BBC News". BBC Online. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  9. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  10. ^ http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ian-murray-back-on-labour-frontbench-if-cabinet-poll-returns-1-4238018
  11. ^ http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14762438.Murray__Corbyn_is___39_all_over_the_place__39__on_a_Labour_coalition_with_SNP/
  12. ^ "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests - Part 2: Part 2". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  13. ^ "Meet the MP: Ian Murray". BBC News. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  14. ^ "Ian Murray steps down as Foundation chairman". 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Foundation of Hearts Board". Foundation of Hearts. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Griffiths
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh South

Political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Curran
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Dave Anderson