Pete Wishart

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Pete Wishart
Official portrait of Pete Wishart crop 2.jpg
Wishart in 2017
SNP Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
Assumed office
20 May 2015
Preceded by Position established
Chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee
Assumed office
19 June 2015
Preceded by Ian Davidson
Member of Parliament
for Perth and North Perthshire
Tayside North (2001–2005)
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by John Swinney
Majority 21 (0.04%)
Personal details
Born (1962-03-09) 9 March 1962 (age 55)
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Children 1
Alma mater Moray House College of Education
Profession Musician; community worker
Pete Wishart
Born (1962-03-09) 9 March 1962 (age 55)
Origin Scotland
Instruments Keyboards
Years active 1981–present
Associated acts Big Country

Peter Wishart (born 9 March 1962) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician and musician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Perth and North Perthshire since 2005. He was previously the MP for North Tayside from 2001. He was re-elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2017.

He is currently the SNP Shadow Leader of the House in the House of Commons and the chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. He has previously served as the SNP's Westminster Spokesperson for the Constitution and for Culture and Sport and Chief Whip.

Wishart is the former keyboard player of the Scottish Celtic rock band Runrig.


Born in Dunfermline in 1962, Wishart was educated at Queen Anne High School Dunfermline and Moray House College, Edinburgh.[1] Wishart lives in Perth and has one son and enjoys walking in the Perthshire hills. Wishart is a trained community worker and has been a director of the Fast Forward charity that promotes healthy lifestyles for young people. He was a member of the Scotland Against Drugs Campaign Committee and has contributed to many national forums looking at the problem of drugs within Scottish society.


Wishart was for 15 years a member of the Scottish group Runrig, and was the first MP to have appeared on the TV show Top of the Pops. Before Runrig, he had been in one of the lineups of Big Country. Wishart is a founder member of the parliamentary rock group MP4. The other members are Ian Cawsey (bass guitar and vocals), Greg Knight MP (drums) and Kevin Brennan MP (lead guitar and vocals).

House of Commons[edit]

He was first elected to the House of Commons at the 2001 general election, taking John Swinney's old seat of Tayside North. Since arriving at Westminster, he has served as the SNP's Chief Whip, in which role he has pressed the government for greater parliamentary rights, such as better representation on committees, for both the SNP and other minority parties. He has also campaigned for copyright term extension and is a vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group.

In the light of the reduction in the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster, Wishart's former constituency was abolished in a radical boundary revision, and at the 2005 election he won the new constituency of Perth and North Perthshire for the SNP with a majority of 1,521 over the Conservatives. The Perth and North Perthshire seat was created after boundary changes in Scotland and takes in East and Highland Perthshire, the City of Perth and the Carse of Gowrie. Wishart sat on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

In November 2010, Wishart suggested that Scottish football referees should declare which club sides they support.[2]

In January 2015, Wishart secured and started a debate on the reform of the House of Lords.[3]

Politically, he is well known for campaigning to demolish Perth's listed City Hall, dating from 1911, and replace it with an open square. He has described the building as "unused, unloved and increasingly unwelcome", "a building whose time has passed", and said that, "A city square will allow us to attract visitors, grow our café quarter, put on outdoor events and properly organise civic and community events. Every city needs civic space and we must ensure that we will soon have ours."[4][5]

Following the 2015 general election it was announced in June 2015 that he would chair the Scottish Affairs Select Committee,[6] with his appointment formally announced on 19 June 2015.[7] In the 2017 general election, he kept his seat by a very marginal majority, beating Conservative Ian Duncan by only 21 votes.[8][9]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Swinney
Member of Parliament for North Tayside
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire
Succeeded by