John Home Robertson

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John Home Robertson
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for East Lothian
In office
6 May 1999 – 2 April 2007
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byIain Gray
Member of Parliament
for East Lothian
Berwick and East Lothian (1978-1983)
In office
26 October 1978 – 7 June 2001
Preceded byJohn Mackintosh
Succeeded byAnne Picking
Personal details
John David Home Robertson

(1948-12-05) 5 December 1948 (age 70)
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Catherine Brewster
Eglinton Crescent, Edinburgh

John David Home Robertson (born 5 December 1948) is a Labour politician in Scotland. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Berwick and East Lothian and East Lothian from 1978 to 2001 and a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for East Lothian from 1999 until 2007.


John David Home Robertson was born at 18 Eglinton Crescent, Edinburgh, the son of John Wallace Robertson, Lieutenant-Colonel of the King's Own Scottish Borderers regiment, who assumed the additional surname in 1933, by Scottish Licence, of Home following his marriage that year to Helen Margaret (1905–1987), elder daughter and heiress of David William Milne-Home (1873–1918), of Wedderburn & Paxton, Berwickshire.[1]

He was educated at Farleigh School, Ampleforth College and at the West of Scotland Agricultural College. In 1988, Home Robertson placed his maternal family's historic home and grounds, Paxton House, in a Historic Buildings Preservation Trust, and opened it to the public. It is a Partner Gallery of the National Galleries of Scotland.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

He was an Independent member of Berwickshire District Council from 1974–78, and of the Borders NHS Health Board 1975-78. One of his Home forebears was a Member of the (original) Parliament of Scotland, for Berwickshire, in 1707 who opposed the Act of Union. As a delegate to the Labour Party Conference in 1976, Home-Robertson moved the resolution which committed the Party to devolution for Scotland, and throughout his career at Westminster he campaigned for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. Home-Robertson was the successful Labour candidate at the Berwick and East Lothian by-election in 1978, following the death of Labour MP John P Mackintosh.

He represented Berwick and East Lothian until the 1983 general election, when the constituency was abolished and he was elected for the new constituency of East Lothian. He was re-elected at subsequent general elections before standing down at the 2001 election, when he was replaced by Anne Picking.

A europhile, Home Robertson was one of only five Labour MPs to vote for the Third Reading of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, defying his party Whip, which was to abstain.[2]

At Westminster, Home-Robertson served on the Scottish Affairs (1979–83) and Defence (1990 -) Select Committees, and was Chairman of the Scottish Group of Labour M.P.s, 1982-83. He spent time as Opposition Scottish Whip, 1983–84, as Labour's Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on: Agriculture (1984–87), Scottish Affairs (1987–88), Agricultural and Rural Affairs (1988 -), and on Food (1989 -).[3] He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Dr Jack Cunningham at the Ministry of Agriculture and then at the Cabinet Office. He announced that would stand down from the Scottish Parliament in 2007,[4] and was succeeded by Iain Gray.


  1. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed, and Official Classes, 69th edition, London, 1943: 944
  2. ^ "Tory MPs in record revolt: Lamont leaves door open for ERM re-entry". The Independent. 21 May 1993.
  3. ^ Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1991, 172nd edition, Hurst Green, East Sussex, ISBN 0-905702-17-4, page 484
  4. ^ May 2007 election results,; accessed 9 May 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Mackintosh
Member of Parliament for Berwick and East Lothian
constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for East Lothian
Succeeded by
Anne Picking
Scottish Parliament
New constituency Member of the Scottish Parliament for East Lothian
Succeeded by
Iain Gray