Keith Raffan

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Keith Raffan
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Mid Scotland and Fife
In office
6 May 1999 – 7 January 2005
Preceded by New Parliament
Succeeded by Andrew Arbuckle
Member of the UK Parliament
for Delyn
In office
9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Constituency Established
Succeeded by David Hanson
Personal details
Born (1949-06-21) 21 June 1949 (age 68)
Aberdeen, Scotland
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Other political

Conservative Party (until 1992)

Scottish Liberal Democrats (1999-2016)

Keith William Twort Raffan (born 21 June 1949) is a former Conservative Member of Parliament and Scottish Liberal Democrat Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP).

Early life[edit]

Raffan was born in Aberdeen and educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Originally a Conservative, he was in the 1970s a chairman of Pressure for Economic and Social Toryism (precursor of the Tory Reform Group), placing him on the left of the Tories. At this time he stood unsuccessfully for Parliament at Dulwich in February 1974 and East Aberdeenshire in October 1974.

He was a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) in Westminster for the Welsh seat of Delyn from 1983–92, but his perceived instability and views on issues like drugs put him out of favour with the prevailing leadership of Margaret Thatcher, and he was never made a Minister. Raffan was one of the few Conservative MPs to support the 'stalking horse' leadership challenge of Anthony Meyer (his constituency neighbour in north Wales) against Mrs Thatcher in 1989, and he then supported Michael Heseltine's challenge to Thatcher the following year.

After Parliament[edit]

Raffan stood down from Delyn in the 1992 General Election and abandoned the Tories due to his support for devolution and their resolute opposition to it. After working as a broadcaster in New York and then for Welsh TV Channel HTV, he joined the Liberal Democrats and moved to Scotland.

Later Political career[edit]

There he first stood (unsuccessfully) in the European Parliament by-election for North East Scotland in 1998, and then at the 1999 Scottish Parliament election he was elected as a regional list MSP to represent Mid Scotland and Fife.

He was one of three LibDem MSPs (along with Donald Gorrie and John Farquhar Munro) to oppose the coalition with the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament in 1999; and was alone in his LibDem colleagues in not backing Donald Dewar for First Minister (he abstained from the vote) that year.

Raffan was re-elected at the 2003 Scottish Parliament election and he also became a Vice Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. However, in December, 2004 he was subject to wide criticism for claiming abnormally large expense costs from the Scottish Parliament, including travel in his Fife constituency at times he was known to be in Parliament in Edinburgh. The following month he resigned as an MSP, citing health reasons and not the controversy his expense claim had caused as the reason.

He faced further criticism after his resignation for working on ITV Wales despite being "too sick to work".

He was replaced by Andrew Arbuckle, who had been next on the Lib-Dem list for Mid Scotland and Fife in 2003.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have confirmed to the press that Raffan is no longer a party member.[citation needed] He now lives in London, and it was announced on the Vote UK forum that he has now joined the Labour Party.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Delyn
Succeeded by
David Hanson