Jackson Carlaw

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Jackson Carlaw

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
Assumed office
29 August 2019
LeaderBoris Johnson
Preceded byRuth Davidson
Succeeded byTBA
In office
15 September 2018 – 3 May 2019
LeaderTheresa May
Preceded byRuth Davidson
Succeeded byRuth Davidson
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
In office
10 November 2011 – 3 September 2019
LeaderRuth Davidson
Himself (Acting)
Preceded byMurdo Fraser
Succeeded byLiam Kerr
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Eastwood
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Preceded byKen Macintosh
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for West Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
3 May 2007 – 5 May 2016
Personal details
Born (1959-04-12) 12 April 1959 (age 60)
Newton Mearns, Scotland
Political partyScottish Conservative Party
Alma materGlasgow Academy
WebsiteOfficial website

David Jackson Carlaw CBE MSP (born 12 April 1959) is a Scottish Conservative Party politician serving as Acting Leader of the Scottish Conservatives from August 2019, and previously from September 2018 to May 2019, and Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Eastwood since 2016.

He serves as the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, and served as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party under Ruth Davidson from 2011 to 2019.

Early life and education[edit]

Carlaw was brought up in Newton Mearns and lived in Crookfur and Giffnock. He was educated at Glasgow Academy. He is married and has two sons.

Carlaw worked for 25 years as a car salesman. He was joint head of FirstFord car dealership in the west of Scotland until it was placed into receivership in November 2002.[1] He was also a director of Wylies (Automotive Services) until it went into administration in February 2003.[2]

Political career[edit]

Carlaw joined the East Renfrewshire Conservatives in 1978. He was the Conservative candidate in the 1982 Queen's Park by-election, and in the 1983 general election in Pollok. He was Chairman of the Scottish Young Conservatives from 1984 to 1986, Chairman of Eastwood Conservatives from 1988 to 1992, and was Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives from 1992 to 1998. He was reappointed Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives in 2005.[3]

He was unsuccessful as a candidate for Eastwood in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. He was however elected on the party list under Scotland's additional member system in 2007 and 2011 representing the West of Scotland region. In 2016 he became the MSP for Eastwood after defeating the incumbent Ken Macintosh. He sits on the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament.[4]

In 2011, Carlaw stood as a candidate in the leadership election brought on by Annabel Goldie's resignation. During the campaign, he was hospitalised with appendicitis.[5] Carlaw finished third behind Ruth Davidson and Murdo Fraser.[6] Jackson is the Deputy Leader for Scottish Conservatives[7] having been appointed by Ruth Davidson in 2011, and had been Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport for almost nine years. He was re-appointed as of 28 June 2017 as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Europe and External Affairs.

He served as acting leader of the party while leader Ruth Davidson was on maternity leave from September 2018 until May 2019. Following her resignation in August 2019, he was appointed to serve a second term.[8][9] He was the incumbent when Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the 2019 general election.

In September 2016, he was elected Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Building Bridges with Israel, the establishment of which he pledged to help in his 2016 election campaign. In February 2017 Carlaw was appointed Deputy Convener of the Cross Party Group on End-of-life Choices.

Parliamentary Issues[edit]

Council Tax rates

Carlaw spoke out firmly against the SNP's changes to Council Tax in November 2016, defending his constituency with the belief that the proposed changes would effectively put over 50% of property in East Renfrewshire in the top two council tax bands. Commenting against the decision he maintained that "the rise would unfairly hit working families and the elderly" and "will hit Eastwood residents hard".

Planning (Scotland) Bill

Carlaw dismissed the initial stages of the June 2018 bill to reform local council planning by the SNP as a 'power grab'. The proposed legislation, which provisioned for the monitoring and training of local councillors in relation to planning, was argued as one which contains 'too much centralisation' and has been opposed by Carlaw in parliamentary debate, who claims the added power such a bill would give Holyrood would be "a dangerous trend to set".

Second Independence Referendum

Following attempts from the SNP to incite a second independence referendum for Scotland in March 2017, Carlaw spoke out against the attempt to 'impose a further unwanted referendum on an unwilling Scotland'. His speech, in parliament, pledged on behalf of the Scottish conservatives, that they would not allow for a second independence referendum until Brexit negotiations were complete and the Scottish public showed clear support for such a referendum. He further organised events within the constituency to reinforce this defence of the original referendum among his constituents.

Constituency Issues[edit]

Privatisation of Bonnyton House

Strongly opposing the sale and privatisation of the only public residential care home in East Renfrewshire in December 2016. Carlaw described it as a 'betrayal' to the families and residents within his constituency who relied on the care home by a council 'unwilling to properly look at any options other than privatisation.'

Parking Changes in East Renfrewshire

In a press release reacting to proposed changes to parking regulations by the Eastwood council in November 2016 , Carlaw spoke in favour of protecting local businesses from the potentially negative effects of the changes, suggesting several amendments to ensure the changes were 'substantially rethought to protect local businesses'.


  1. ^ Kristy Dorsey (2 November 2002). "Receivers at Firstford as takeover talks fail". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Mystery of lost paintings at collapsed firm Carlaw was director of car hire company". Herald Scotland. 10 October 2003. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  3. ^ Tory who told racist jokes appointed deputy chairman of Scottish Tories, Paul Hutcheon, The Sunday Herald. 12 June 2005
  4. ^ "Membership - European and External Relations Committee". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  5. ^ "BBC News - Tory leadership contender Jackson Carlaw is taken ill". Bbc.co.uk. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  6. ^ Andrew Black (4 November 2011). "BBC News - Ruth Davidson elected new Scottish Conservative leader". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  7. ^ "BBC News - New leader Ruth Davidson announces front bench team". Bbc.co.uk. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Interview: Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw on filling Ruth Davidson's shoes". HeraldScotland.
  9. ^ Gilman, Laura (26 October 2018). "Political Activities". www.parliament.scot.

External links[edit]

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Ken Macintosh
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Eastwood
Party political offices
Preceded by
Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Annabel Goldie
Preceded by
Murdo Fraser
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party