Russell Brown

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For other people named Russell Brown, see Russell Brown (disambiguation).
Russell Brown
Russell Brown MP 2005-11-06.jpg
Shadow Minister for International Security Strategy
In office
October 2010 – 8 May 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Member of Parliament
for Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries (1997-2005)
In office
1 May 1997 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Hector Monro
Succeeded by Richard Arkless
Personal details
Born (1951-09-17) 17 September 1951 (age 64)
Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Christine Margaret Calvert

Russell Leslie Brown (born 17 September 1951) is a Scottish Labour Party politician. He is former Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire (1997-2005) and Dumfries and Galloway (2005-2015). He lost his seat in the 2015 General Election to Richard Arkless of the Scottish National Party.[1]

Early years[edit]

Russell Brown was born in Annan, Scotland, and attended the local Annan Academy. In 1974 he began work as a plant operative at ICI and remained with the company until his election to Westminster.

Political history[edit]

He was elected as a branch chairman within the Transport and General Workers Union 1979-1985. In 1986 he was elected as a councillor to the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council, and was the Labour Group Leader 1995-1997. Between 1988 and 1996 he also served as a councillor on the Annandale and Eskdale District Council.

He was selected to contest the seemingly safe Conservative and Unionist seat of Dumfries at the 1997 UK General Election. The MP of 33 years, Hector Monro retired and the Conservative and Unionist candidate was Struan Stevenson. The Conservative Party was completely wiped out in Scotland in 1997, and Russell Brown was elected as the Labour MP for Dumfries with a majority of 9,643. He made his maiden speech on 7 July 1997.

Russell Brown became a Member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in 1999, and left the committee after the 2001 General Election. He was made a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords, Gareth Wyn Williams of Mostyn in 2002. When Williams died in 2003 and he continued in the same position with his successor Valerie Amos. Brown resigned from the government in 2003 in protest at the proposed military intervention in Iraq, stepping down from his position as parliamentary aide to Lord Mostyn, leader of the House of Lords.[2] Brown subsequently "voted against saying that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established" and was absent for the vote to declare war.[3]

In the major redistribution of Scottish seats, his constituency of Dumfries was abolished and the new seat of Dumfries and Galloway was created. At the 2005 General Election he faced the sitting Conservative MP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale Peter Duncan. Brown was elected with a majority of 2,922. Following the election he became the PPS to the Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Darling and his successor Jim Murphy.

In the 2010 General Election Russell Brown was again challenged by Conservative Peter Duncan, who is now a councillor on Dumfries and Galloway Council. Despite Labour losing the election nationally, Russell Brown's local popularity meant he almost tripled his majority to 7,449. In October 2010 Russell Brown was appointed to Labour's front bench as a Shadow Defence Minister. His brief is Shadow Minister for International Security Strategy. He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act.[4]

Brown lost his seat in the 2015 General Election, polling third (13,982 votes) behind the Scottish Conservatives' Finlay Carson (16,926 votes) and the SNP's Richard Arkless (23,440 votes).[1]

Personal life[edit]

He married Christine Margaret Calvert in 1973 and they have two daughters. He speaks French and German. Brown is a supporter of Queen of the South. He has appeared on television speaking about the club,[5] and tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons congratulating them on their reaching the semi-final of the 2008 Scottish Cup.[6]


  1. ^ a b Haswell, Alex (2015-05-08). "UK Parliamentary Elections Results 2015 for the Dumfries and Galloway County". Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  2. ^ "Dumfries MP quits over war". BBC News. 2003-03-19. Retrieved 2015-05-03. 
  3. ^ "How Russell Brown voted on the Iraq war". Retrieved 2015-05-03. 
  4. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Russell Brown flier ahead of appearing on Border TV discussing Queen of the South
  6. ^ House of Commons early day motion

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hector Monro
Member of Parliament for Dumfries
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Dumfries and Galloway
Succeeded by
Richard Arkless