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|Member of the Scottish Parliament
for West of Scotland
6 May 1999 – 31 March 2003
|Political party||Scottish National Party
|Scottish Socialist Party
|Alma mater||Holy Cross primary
St Augustines High
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Quinan is a longtime campaigner for Scottish Independence, initially joining the Scottish National Party in 1974, later leaving in 2003. In 2015 the SNP selected him as a list candidate for the Lothian region.
Theatre and television career
A trained actor, he appeared in theatres throughout Scotland, including the Royal Lyceum, The Traverse, Perth Theatre, The Tron, Eden Court, The Pavilion, and was Assistant Director of The Scottish Theatre Company, Founder of the independent company, United Artists (Scotland).
He directed new plays by Peter Arnott and George Gunn as well as the first Scottish production of Howard Barkers, Pity In History. Working as a freelance director he worked with many companies and theatres including The Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Unit One, The Traverse, Mayfest, The Borders Festival, Craigmillar Festival Society and directed plays, pantomimes and community pageants. He was an elected member of the Scottish Committee of the Equity Union for 12 years. Like so many theatre workers he had a parallel career in Television appearing in a number of dramas for BBC Scotland, Granada, STV and ITV. While working for STV in 1983 he became a presenter in the Education Department making over 200 programmes on Scottish History and Society (1983–89).
In 1994 he returned to STV as The Weather Presenter on the stations LunchTime show. In 1995 he succeeded Bernard Ponsonby as the presenter of Trial By Night, a late night debate show.
In 1996 he was Producer/Director on the Scottish Reporters series and co-produced The Professional Beggar for ITV First Tuesday. Quinan was an elected official of the NUJ and was involved in the work to rule dispute at the station. In 1998, he left STV after an acrimonious contract dispute. From 1998-99 Quinan worked as for Channel 4 News, UTV and RTE as a presenter/director.
During his time as an MSP, he served as the SNP's Deputy spokesperson for Social Inclusion 1999-2000, a member of the European Committee and the Audit Committee. He also served as Convener of the Cross Party Group on Autism in the Scottish Parliament, Vice-Convener of the Cross Party Group on Contemporary Music and was a member of the Cross Party Groups on Palestine and Cuba.
An active anti-nuclear campaigner, Quinan was twice arrested for Breach of the Peace during blockades of the Faslane Nuclear Submarine base during his time as an MSP. Quinan went on to challenge his conviction in the High Court of Justiciary introducing a point of law which resulted in one of his convictions being set aside, this was seen as a minor victory for the anti-nuclear movement in Scotland.
In 2002, while a vice-convener of the Scottish Parliament's cross-party group on Palestine, Quinan visited the Middle East on a week-long tour, linking with the Red Crescent and International Solidarity Movement. Quinan travelled to the West Bank as part of a group, but Israelis soldiers denied them entrance to Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah. The Israeli security forces fired stun grenades and shots in the air in order to force him away.
For the 2003 Parliament election Quinan stood down from being a candidate in the West of Scotland, and instead sought nomination in his home city of Edinburgh. Quinan was unsuccessful in his bid, and went on to unsuccessfully contest the seat of Motherwell and Wishaw at the 2003 election. The seat was held by the Labour candidate: First Minister Jack McConnell.
Quinan stood in the 25 May 2003 Navarrese parliamentary election as a stand-in for Batasuna politicians, with Batasuna having been banned earlier in 2003 due to alleged links with ETA. Quinan likened his involvement to the involvement of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War.
In December 2003 Quinan left the SNP for the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). Quinan explained that he felt that the SNP no longer represented his political beliefs. Quinan subsequently unsuccessfully attempted to become one of the SSP's candidates for the 2004 European Parliament election. Quinan left the SSP later in 2004.
Quinan was a 'Yes' supporter who was active during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign. At one public meeting in North Berwick where he spoke, some of his closing remarks were seized upon by sections of the No campaign. Quinan had said that Scots "have an opportunity to change the lives and life chances of our children for he future" but then went on to say "I will be partisan about it, if you vote 'No' you leave them with more of the same, then you're a bad parent."
A lifelong Hibernian F.C. supporter, he was a leading organiser in the 'Hands off Hibs' campaign.
- "Previous MSPs: Session 1 (1999-2003): Lloyd Quinan". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
- "Faslane protest sparks 170 arrests". BBC News. 22 October 2001.
- "Politicians held in Trident protest". BBC News. 11 February 2002.
- "MSP travels to Middle East". BBC News. 21 April 2002.
- "Arafat visit politician angers Israelis". BBC News. 22 April 2002.
- Farquharson, Kenny (9 March 2003). "People's champion or a willing dupe?". The Sunday Times.
- "Former Nat's SSP 'defection'". BBC News. 14 December 2003.
- "You're A 'Bad Parent' If You Vote Against Scottish Independence, Says Ex-SNP MSP". The Huffington Post. 4 August 2014.
- "Ex-weatherman Lloyd Quinan eyes SNP candidacy". Edinburgh Evening News.
- "Tommy Sheppard named SNP Edinburgh East candidate". Edinburgh Evening News.
- Sanderson, Daniel (12 October 2015). "Ex-weatherman who said No voters were bad parents chosen as SNP Holyrood candidate". The Herald.