Michael Matheson (politician)

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Michael Matheson

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson.png
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity
Assumed office
26 June 2018
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byOffice established
Cabinet Secretary for Justice
In office
21 November 2014 – 26 June 2018
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byKenny MacAskill
Succeeded byHumza Yousaf
Minister for Public Health
In office
20 May 2011 – 21 November 2014
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Preceded byShona Robison
Succeeded byMaureen Watt
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Falkirk West
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded byDennis Canavan
Majority11,280 (35.1%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Central Scotland
In office
6 May 1999 – 3 May 2007
Personal details
Born (1970-09-08) 8 September 1970 (age 49)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Alma materQueen Margaret University
Open University
ProfessionOccupational therapist

Michael Stephen Matheson (born 8 September 1970) is a Scottish politician serving as Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity since 26 June 2018, having previously served as the Cabinet Secretary for Justice from 2014 to 2018. He has been a Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999, first representing Central Scotland and, since 2007, the Falkirk West constituency.

Early life[edit]

Matheson was born in Glasgow, was raised in the Toryglen district[1] and was educated at John Bosco Secondary School in the city. He then attended Queen Margaret College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy in 1991. He later went on to graduate from the Open University with both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Postgraduate diploma in applied social sciences.

Following graduation, he worked as a community occupational therapist for eight years, until his election to the Scottish Parliament. During that time he worked for Highland Regional Council, Central Regional Council and Stirling Council.

Political career[edit]

Westminster parliamentary candidate[edit]

Matheson first stood as a parliamentary candidate for the SNP in the 1997 general election, standing for the newly created Hamilton North and Bellshill constituency.

Member of the Scottish Parliament[edit]

In the 1999 Scottish parliamentary election, Matheson contested the Falkirk West constituency, which was won by the independent Dennis Canavan, who had been rejected by the Labour Party.[2] However, Matheson was ranked third on the SNP's regional list for Central Scotland and was one of the five SNP candidates elected in the region.

He served as Shadow Deputy Minister for Justice from May 1999 until September 2004, and as Shadow Deputy Minister for Rural Development from October 2001 until September 2004. Matheson also served on the Equal Opportunities Committee, the Justice and Home Affairs Committee, and the Justice 1 Committee between 1999 and 2004.[3] During the 2000 SNP deputy leadership election, he was the campaign manager for Roseanna Cunningham.

He contested the Falkirk West constituency again at the 2003 Scottish parliamentary election, and although it was won again by Denis Canavan, Matheson was re-elected as one of three SNP MSPs for Central Scotland. In the parliament's second session he served on the Justice 1 Committee, the Enterprise and Culture Committee and the Justice 2 Committee. From September 2004 until September 2006, he was Shadow Minister for Culture and Sport.[4]

Matheson won the constituency in the 2007 election with a majority of 776 votes over Labour, after Canavan stepped down.[2] (Canavan later endorsed Matheson for re-election in 2011).[2]

Matheson was a member of the Health and Sport Committee from June 2007 until March 2011 and was the Deputy Convener of the European and External Relations Committee from March 2009 until July 2010.[5] He was also a member of the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill Committee.[5]

Before becoming a Minister, Matheson was actively involved in a number of Parliamentary Cross-Party Groups, including those on Malawi, Sport, Alzheimer's disease, International development, Russia and Taiwan.

At the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election, he retained his seat with an increased majority of 5,745 votes over Labour.

Government Minister[edit]

He was appointed as Minister for Public Health after the SNP landslide in 2011, a position he held until the November 2014 reshuffle which saw him promoted to cabinet rank as Cabinet Secretary for Justice.


  1. ^ Michael Matheson Personal Twitter Account 26/11/2016
  2. ^ a b c Dinwoodie, Robin (30 April 2011). "The Canavan endorsement could swing it again for confident Nationalists". The Herald. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Previous MSPs: Session 1 (1999-2003): Michael Matheson MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Previous MSPs: Session 2 (2003-2007): Michael Matheson MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Previous MSPs: Session 3 (2007-2011): Michael Matheson MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Constituency Created
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Central Scotland
Succeeded by
Jamie Hepburn
Preceded by
Dennis Canavan
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Falkirk West
Political offices
Preceded by
Shona Robison
Minister for Public Health
Succeeded by
Maureen Watt
Preceded by
Kenny MacAskill
Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Succeeded by
Humza Yousaf