Michelle Ballantyne

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Michelle Ballantyne

Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South Scotland
Assumed office
23 May 2017
Preceded byRachael Hamilton
Personal details
Political partyScottish Conservatives
Alma materRoyal London Hospital; Heriot Watt University

Michelle Ballantyne is a British politician who is a Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament for the South Scotland region. Ballantyne replaced Rachael Hamilton, who resigned her seat to contest the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire by-election, 2017 on 8 June.[1]

Ballantyne, who had previously been the Conservative group leader on Scottish Borders Council, was sworn in as an MSP on 23 May 2017.[2]

Shortly after she joined the Scottish Parliament, Ballantyne was appointed to the role of spokesperson for Childcare and Early Years while on 3rd May 2018 Ballantyne was promoted to the Scottish Conservative front bench as spokesperson for Social Security.

Originally a nurse from the south-east of England, she and her family relocated to Scotland in 1990 and set up a business in the Scottish Borders.[3] Ballantyne had trained as a nurse at Royal London Hospital, and after her move to Scotland gained an Honours degree from Heriot Watt University.[4] She is the mother of six children.[5]


Michelle Ballantyne was heavily criticized for claiming that “there’s no such thing as a bedroom tax” during a meeting of The Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee. [6]

Ballantyne caused outrage in 2018 after claiming that "people on benefit cannot have as many children as they like" when defending the UK Government's controversial two child cap. She later refused to apologise for her remarks, and accused critics of having an “emotional reaction". [7]

During an interview Ballantyne accused the SNP of politicizing the UK Government's Rape Clause and suggested that there was no hard evidence as to why the use of foodbanks has increased. [8]

During a speech in The Scottish Parliament, Ballantyne said she would be "quite happy" if the Government had no role in the running the NHS in Scotland. Her comments were widely condemned by politicians from a number of parties. Ballantyne is yet to explain her comments. [9]


  1. ^ "MSP Rachael Hamilton quits to fight Holyrood by-election". BBC News. BBC. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  2. ^ "New Conservative MSP sworn in at Holyrood". BBC News. BBC. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  3. ^ "About Michelle Ballantyne". michelleballantyne.org.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  4. ^ "About Michelle Ballantyne". michelleballantyne.org.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Tory MSP: Rape clause is 'fair' as it means poor have fewer kids". The Herald. heraldscotland. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Views on the Bedroom Tax". Welfare Weekly. 21 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Tory MSP: poor people should stop having children". Third Force News. 25 October 2018.
  8. ^ "New Tory welfare spokesperson accuses SNP of politicising 'rape clause'". ITV. 9 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Tory MSP: Government should not be running NHS in Scotland". The Scotsman. 3 April 2019.