James Kelly (Scottish politician)

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James Kelly

James Kelly MSP, May 2016.jpg
Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Assumed office
28 May 2019
LeaderRichard Leonard
Preceded byDaniel Johnson
Scottish Labour Party Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution
In office
19 December 2017 – 2 September 2019
LeaderRichard Leonard
Preceded byKezia Dugdale
Succeeded byRhoda Grant (Finance, Jobs and Fair Work)
Scottish Labour Parliamentary Business Manager
In office
16 December 2014 – 19 December 2017
Preceded byPaul Martin
Succeeded byRhoda Grant
Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Strategy
In office
29 June 2013 – 16 December 2014
Preceded byRichard Baker
Succeeded byMary Fee
Chief Whip of the Scottish Labour Party
In office
10 January 2012 – 28 June 2013
Preceded byJohn Park
Succeeded byLewis Macdonald
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Rutherglen
Glasgow Rutherglen (2007-2011)
In office
3 May 2007 – 24 March 2016
Preceded byJanis Hughes
Succeeded byClare Haughey
Personal details
Born
James Anthony Kelly

(1963-10-23) 23 October 1963 (age 55)
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Spouse(s)Alexa Kelly
Children2
OccupationComputer Programmer/Analyst
CommitteesFinance and Constitution Committee

James Anthony Kelly (born 23 October 1963) is a Scottish Labour and Co-operative Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow and has been Labour's Justice Spokesperson since 2019.[1]

Kelly has been a regional MSP since 2016,[2] having previously been the MSP for Glasgow Rutherglen (2007–2011), renamed Rutherglen (2011–2016).[3]

Richard Leonard named Kelly as his Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance in 2017.[4] Prior to this he held the position of Labour's Parliamentary Business Manager[5] and was the party's campaign manager for the 2016[6] and 2017 elections.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly grew up in the Halfway area of Cambuslang, and was educated at Trinity High School[8] and Glasgow College of Technology (now Glasgow Caledonian University). He currently lives in Cambuslang with his wife, Alexa, and their two daughters.[9]

Kelly has a background in computing and finance, is a chartered accountant, and worked as a business analyst in East Kilbride prior to his election in 2007.[10] He has spoken about his interests in sport, namely football, tennis and running.[11]

He served as the election agent for the former Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Tommy McAvoy at the 1997, 2001, and 2005 general elections. He was also chair of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West Constituency Labour Party.[12]

Political career[edit]

Rutherglen constituency[edit]

Kelly stood was elected as MSP for Rutherglen in the 2007 and 2011 Holyrood elections, and as a list MSP for the Glasgow Region in 2016.[13][14][15]

While Kelly lost his Holyrood constituency seat to the SNP's Clare Haughey in 2016,[16] the incumbent MSP's majority of 3743 made it a target seat for Labour in the future. The equivalent Westminster seat Rutherglen and Hamilton West was won back by Labour's Gerard Killen in the 2017 UK general election, despite being one of the biggest swings towards the SNP two years prior.[17][18]

In Holyrood[edit]

Upon entering the Scottish Parliament in 2007, Kelly served on the Finance Committee and as a Labour Whip.[19]

He serves as the Convener of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Co-operatives and was the deputy Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Sport. From 2008 to 2011, he was a member of the Justice Committee and Shadow Minister for Community Safety.[20]

Following the election of Johann Lamont as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Kelly was appointed Chief Whip in Holyrood. He was subsequently made Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Strategies in a reshuffle in June 2013.[21]

After the election of Jim Murphy as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Kelly was appointed to succeed Paul Martin as Labour's Parliamentary Business Manager.[22]

Under Kezia Dugdale's leadership he remained business manager and in December 2014 was named as the party's election coordinator for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.[23]

In December 2015, Kelly was ejected from the parliamentary debating chamber by presiding officer Tricia Marwick when he refused to sit down after attempting to make a point of order during a trade union bill debate.[24][25]

When Kezia Dugdale resigned as Scottish Labour leader in December 2017, Kelly's name was touted as a potential successor.[26]

In December 2017, Richard Leonard appointed Kelly as his Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution.[27] In October 2018, following a reshuffle of the Scottish Labour frontbench in Holyrood, Kelly continued to hold the finance portfolio while Neil Findlay took forward the constitutional brief.[28]

In September 2019, he was appointed as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

Repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act[edit]

Following his re-election to the Scottish Parliament in May 2016, Kelly took forward his pledge to lead a member's bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football 2012 Act.[29]

Kelly has described the 2012 legislation as having "completely failed to tackle sectarianism" and as "illiberal" which "unfairly targets football fans", "condemned by legal experts, human rights organisations and equality groups".[30][31]

On 25 January 2018, MSPs voted by 65 to 61 in favour of the general principles of Kelly's Bill in the first stage of Holyrood's legislative process. It marked the first binding defeat in Parliament for the SNP Minority Government.[32] On 15 March, the vote to repeal the Act was passed with 62 in favour and 60 against.[33]

Impact[edit]

Following violent incidents during and after the Old Firm derby (Celtic vs Rangers), on 31 March 2019,[34] David Hamilton, vice-chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, stated "Personally I believe the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act has had an impact, because I think that some people feel wrongly legitimised to behave in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise behave.←"[35] during an appearance on the BBC Radio Scotland John Beattie Programme a day later.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leonard unveils new Scottish Labour front bench team". BBC News. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Labour MSP James Kelly, who has called on Celtic to become a living wage employer, joins fight for list slots". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  3. ^ "James Kelly MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  4. ^ Edwards, Peter. "New Scottish shadow cabinet in full". LabourList. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Kez unveils her new front bench team". Scottish Labour Party. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  6. ^ "James Kelly MSP to lead Labour's election campaign for Scottish Government vote in 2016". Rutherglen Reformer.
  7. ^ "Election 2017: Scottish Greens to stand fewer than 10 candidates". BBC News. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  8. ^ Smith, Kenny (7 August 2010). "New Trinity High is officially opened". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  9. ^ "James Kelly MSP". Scottish Labour Party. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  10. ^ "James Kelly Biography". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  11. ^ Kelly, James. "James Kelly MSP on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  12. ^ "In the spotlight: These are the names tipped to be the next Scottish Labour leader". CommonSpace. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  13. ^ "2007 election results". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  14. ^ "2011 Rutherglen election result". BBC News. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  15. ^ "2016 Glasgow region election result". Glasgow City Council. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Scottish Parliament election 2016 constituency result: Rutherglen". The Scotsman. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  17. ^ Kerr, Aiden (9 June 2017). "Labour gain first Scottish seat from SNP in election". STV Group. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  18. ^ Spooner, Murray (9 June 2017). "Labour takes Rutherglen and Hamilton West". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Finance Committee - membership". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  20. ^ "James Kelly MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Johann Lamont in Scottish Labour front bench shake-up". BBC News. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Jim Murphy reveals Scottish Labour shadow cabinet". www.scotsman.com. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  23. ^ "James Kelly MSP to lead Labour's election campaign for Scottish Government vote in 2016". Rutherglen Reformer. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  24. ^ "MSP ejected from chamber in row over union bill". BBC News. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Labour MSP thrown out of Scottish Parliament during a point of order spat with Presiding Officer". Daily Record. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  26. ^ "In the spotlight: These are the names tipped to be the next Scottish Labour leader". CommonSpace. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Leonard unveils new Scottish Labour front bench team". BBC News. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  28. ^ correspondent, Libby Brooks Scotland (4 October 2018). "Scottish Labour leader sacks two MSPs in 'purge' reshuffle". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Labour MSP James Kelly will attempt to repeal anti-sectarian football legislation". Holyrood Magazine. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  30. ^ "Official Report - 25 January 2018". Scottish Parliament.
  31. ^ Kelly, James. "Why the SNP must scrap the act". ScrapTheAct. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  32. ^ "Football Act repeal bid passes first vote". BBC News. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  33. ^ "MSPs vote to repeal football bigotry law". BBC News. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  34. ^ "Old Firm Bloodbath: Man fighting for life and two injured after violent 'stabbing' in Old Firm clash as cops treat attack as attempted murder". The Scottish Sun. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  35. ^ "BBC Radio Scotland John Beattie Programme - 10:44". 1 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Police chief blasts Old Firm and believes SPL is 'in crisis'". Scottish Police Federation 2nd April 2019. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.

External links[edit]