John Mason (Scottish politician)
|Deputy Convener of the
15 June 2011
|Preceded by||Tom McCabe|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow Shettleston
5 May 2011
|Preceded by||Frank McAveety|
|Member of Parliament
for Glasgow East
24 July 2008 – 12 April 2010
|Preceded by||David Marshall|
|Succeeded by||Margaret Curran|
|Glasgow City Councillor for Baillieston (Ward 20)
1998 – 25 July 2008
|Succeeded by||David Turner|
15 May 1957 |
Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire
|Political party||Scottish National Party|
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow|
Originally from Rutherglen, Mason has lived in the East End of Glasgow for 20 years. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother a teacher. After attending Hutchesons' Grammar School he studied Accounting at the University of Glasgow, becoming an ICAS Chartered Accountant.
He worked for housing associations, nursing homes, and with a charity in London. He also spent three years in Kathmandu, Nepal with an NGO (United Mission to Nepal) representing churches from across the world. Mason is opposed to abortion.
Mason has lived in the East End of Glasgow for the past 20 years and was elected as the councillor for the Garrowhill ward in Glasgow City Council at a by-election in 1998 and was re-elected in 1999 and 2003.
He rose to become the Leader of the Opposition in Glasgow City Council and led the SNP Council Group on the majority Labour-run Council between 1999 and 2008. He was the SNP's longest serving Glasgow councillor and during his term he led many protests against Labour's moves to weaken effective opposition by altering the council committee system.
In his ward, he attended a wide variety of community groups, including Garrowhill and Swinton Community Councils, local school boards, tenants association, and Garrowhill Action Partnership. He was also on the management committee of Tenant Controlled Housing which aims to give local tenants control of their housing in place of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).
Elected as Member of Parliament
On 30 June 2008 David Marshall, Labour MP for Glasgow East, resigned from the UK Parliament on the grounds of ill-health, thereby triggering a by-election. The decision by Labour to call a quick by-election (set for 24 July 2008) was partly attributed to Labour's troubled finances and fears of an SNP campaign building up enough momentum. John Mason was selected as SNP candidate for Glasgow East on 3 July.
Mason won the by-election in a surprise victory, defeating the Labour candidate Margaret Curran, MSP for Glasgow Baillieston. He overturned a Labour majority of more than 13,500 to win the seat on a swing of more than 22%. It was Labour's third safest seat in Scotland.
As promised during the by-election, Mason resigned his council seat immediately after his election as MP. The subsequent by-election was won by the SNP. Mason served as the SNP's Westminster spokesperson on Work and Pensions during his tenure as an MP. From 2009 until losing his seat in 2010, he also sat on the House of Commons' Select Committee on Administration. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper in April 2010, when questioned about his Protestant religious beliefs and how that could conflict with the rights of others in the UK, Mason acknowledged the difficulty that this issue raised with him, informing the newspaper that he had been warned to leave this issue alone by his party,
Member of the Scottish Parliament
In the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election, he defeated his main rival, Labour's Frank McAveety, to win the Glasgow Shettleston seat with a majority of 586 votes. The turnout was 37.7%. During his time in Holyrood so far, Mason has called on the Scottish Government to make housing investment its top priority. During the debate on same-sex marriage in Scotland, Mason was widely condemned for raising a motion stating that no person or organisation should be forced to be involved or to approve of same-sex marriage. In January 2015 he spoke in parliament in favour of young Earth creationism. In February 2016, he publicly asked "How is national debt different from national deficit?" on Twitter, prompting the Spectator to say that he "appears to lack a basic understanding of finance".
- "FPs Humza Yousaf and John Mason elected as MSPs". hutchesons.org. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "University of Glasgow". gla.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Abortion and embryo controversies back in spotlight for final days of campaign, The Scotsman, 19 July 2008
- Percival, Jenny (4 July 2008). "SNP to put up local council leader". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Glasgow SNP - Scottish Independence - Council candidates 2007". glasgowsnp.org. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- McSmith, Andy (12 July 2008). "Struggle for survival in Labour heartland". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Porter, Andrew (27 June 2008). "Labour MP David Marshall to quit causing Brown more by-election woe". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "By-election looms after MP quits". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 30 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
- Hennessy, Patrick; Kite, Melissa (28 June 2008). "Labour: Gordon Brown's crisis deepens as Wendy Alexander resigns". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Employment at historic high in Scotland". snp.org. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Labour concedes defeat in Glasgow East by-election, The Herald, 25 July 2008
- "SNP stuns Labour in Glasgow East". BBC News. 25 July 2008.
- Baston, Lewis (25 July 2008). "A broken rule of thumb in Glasgow". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
- "Mason calls time on council career". Evening Times. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Jack, Ian (20 April 2010). "Religion still counts in Scotland". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- BBC News
- "Christian MSP: science can't disprove Earth created in six days". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- JohnMasonMSP (27 February 2016). "How is national debt different from national deficit?" (Tweet).
- "SNP politician struggles with the deficit".
- Mason, John (13 December 2005). "Councillor John Mason; Autobiography". Glasgow City Council. Archived from the original on 10 May 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
- Coverage of the Glasgow East by-election, 2008
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Glasgow East
2008 - 2010