Thomas Docherty (politician)

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Thomas Docherty
Member of Parliament
for Dunfermline and West Fife
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byWillie Rennie
Succeeded byDouglas Chapman
Majority5,470 (11.2%)
Personal details
Born (1975-01-28) 28 January 1975 (age 44)
Political partyLabour
RelationsKatie Docherty (wife)

Thomas Docherty (born 28 January 1975) is a British Labour Party politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Dunfermline and West Fife from 2010 until 2015.[2]

Early life[edit]

Before becoming an MP Docherty was an Account Director with a communications consultancy, having previously worked for Network Rail, BNFL and as a research assistant to Scott Barrie, the former MSP for Dunfermline West.[3]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Thomas Docherty was elected as the Member of Parliament for Dunfermline and West Fife in the May 2010 General Election with a 5,470 majority In 2011, he was a member of the special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill that became the Armed Forces Act 2011.[4] He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.[5] Docherty proposed a Private Member's Bill aimed at banning discrimination against members of the Armed Forces and their families in 2014. The proposal was backed by shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker but failed to progress[6] Ed Miliband later suggested that a Labour government might introduce legislation along similar lines[7]

Docherty also sat on the Administration Committee, Procedure Committee and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee at various times during the 2010-15 Parliament[8] He was a shadow minister with responsibility for environment, food and rural affairs between 2013 and 2014, and in 2014 was appointed Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.[8]

Having previously worked in political lobbying, he proposed a private member's bill in early 2013 which would have required lobbyists to sign a public register and code of conduct[9] He criticised the government's own plans when they were unveiled later that year for excluding law firms.[10] After the government's Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill passed, Docherty introduced a private member's bill aiming at repealing it.[11]

In 2015 Docherty wrote to Culture Secretary Sajid Javid on Holocaust Memorial Day, suggesting a debate over banning Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Docherty advocated for a national debate to put "limits on the freedom of expression."[12] He said he didn't necessarily think it should be banned but thought it was important that such a debate took place.[citation needed]

Docherty was defeated for re-election in 2015, losing to Douglas Chapman, the SNP candidate.

Personal life[edit]

He lives in Dunfermline with his wife Katie and their children. He is a member of Dunfermline Round Table and supports Dunfermline Athletic F.C. In 2016, after Jamie Reed announced his resignation as the MP for Copeland, Docherty put his name forward to stand in the following by-election.[3]


  1. ^ Profile,; accessed 8 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Election 2010: Jim Murphy's joy as Scotland says no to David Cameron". Daily Record. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Biography". Thomas Docherty. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill". Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  5. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Forces discrimination bill backed by shadow minister". BBC. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  7. ^ Merrick, Jane (9 March 2014). "Labour promises anti-abuse law for armed forces". Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Thomas Docherty". Parliament UK. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  9. ^ Jowit, Juliette (1 February 2013). "Lobbyists' code of conduct bill to be debated for first time in parliament". Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  10. ^ Hyde, John (16 September 2013). "MPs attack lobbying bill". Law Gazette. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  11. ^ Ricketts, Andy (9 July 2014). "Labour MP introduces bill to repeal the lobbying act". Third Sector. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  12. ^ "UK should consider ban on Mein Kampf, says Scottish Labour MP". The Guardian. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Willie Rennie
Member of Parliament for Dunfermline and West Fife
Succeeded by
Douglas Chapman