Philippa Whitford

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Philippa Whitford
MP
Official portrait of Dr Philippa Whitford crop 2.jpg
SNP Department of Health Spokesperson
Assumed office
20 May 2015
Leader Ian Blackford
Preceded by Position established
Member of Parliament
for Central Ayrshire
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded by Brian Donohoe
Majority 1,267 (2.8%)
Personal details
Born (1958-12-24) 24 December 1958 (age 59)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Hans Pieper (m. 1987)
Children 1
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Website whitford.scot

Philippa Whitford (born 24 December 1958) is a Scottish National Party politician and surgeon. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Ayrshire in May 2015 and was re-elected at the 2017 general election.[1] She is the SNP Health spokesperson in the House of Commons.

Early life[edit]

Whitford was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and moved to Scotland at the age of ten.[2] She was educated at Wood Green: St. Angela's Providence Convent Secondary School in London and Douglas Academy in Milngavie, before studying at the University of Glasgow, where she graduated with medical degrees.[2]

Surgical career[edit]

Whitford worked as a consultant breast surgeon at Crosshouse Hospital for more than eighteen years.

Just after the First Gulf War and during the First Palestinian Intifada at the age of thirty, Whitford served for a year and a half as a medical volunteer in a UN hospital in Gaza.[3] She spent the 2016 parliamentary recess travelling to the West Bank to operate on four women suffering from breast cancer, and visited the Gaza Strip to advise local hospitals on how to improve healthcare.[4]

Political career[edit]

Whitford joined the Scottish National Party in 2012. She became involved with the campaign preceding the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. She advocated independence as a way of protecting NHS Scotland from the same kind of "creeping privatisation agenda undermining services in England".[5] An online video of her claiming the NHS in England would be privatised within five years and in Scotland within ten went viral at this time.[6]

“In five years, England will not have an NHS and in 10 years, if we vote no, neither will we," she said.[5]

House of Commons[edit]

Whitford was selected to contest Central Ayrshire for the SNP at the 2015 general election. She polled 26,999 votes and 53.2% of the vote and defeated the incumbent Labour MP, Brian Donohoe by 13,589 votes.[7] She made her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 2 June 2015.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Whitford has been married to Hans Pieper, a German citizen who works as a general practitioner, since 1987; the couple have a son together.[2][9]

Titles[edit]

  • Dr Philippa Whitford
  • Dr.Philippa Whitford MP (2015–present)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Election 2015: Ayrshire Central, Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Annie (10 July 2014). "Independence referendum: Top surgeon becomes viral hit after making impassioned plea to vote Yes to save the NHS". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Jefferson, Rodney (25 March 2015). "The Scottish Streets Where a U.K. Election Will Be Won or Lost". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Dyke, Joe (8 April 2016). "British MP performs cancer surgery for Palestinian women". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Clarke, Sandy (5 February 2015). "Consultant breast surgeon Dr Philippa Whitford is selected as SNP candidate to battle for the Central Ayrshire seat in May's General Election". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Scotland's new MPs". Bailiwick Express. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Election 2015: Ayrshire Central". BBC News. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Dr Philippa Whitford (2 June 2015). "Health and Social Care". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 477–479. 
  9. ^ "Whitford, Dr Philippa, (born 24 Dec. 1958), MP (SNP) Central Ayrshire, since 2015". Who's Who. 2015. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.283863. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Brian Donohoe
Member of Parliament
for Central Ayrshire

2015–present
Incumbent