Who are Scotland’s new MPs?

SNP supporters in Edinburgh. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

SNP supporters in Edinburgh. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

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THERE are dozens of new faces set to represent Scotland in Westminster after the dramatic SNP landslide.

So who are our new MPs? They include a comedy club owner, a breast cancer surgeon, a journalist and a television producer.

Here’s what we know:

Tommy Sheppard, Edinburgh East

From running The Stand to taking a stand, Tommy Sheppard won his seat in Edinburgh East. The SNP candidate was a Labour councillor in London for eight years and was Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party in the 1990s.

A staunch Yes voter during the referendum, he recently joined the SNP after sitting on the National Council of the Scottish Independence Convention. He also works for the Scottish Comedy Agency.

Sheppard opposes austerity and seeks further devolution for Scotland. During the campaign, he also opposed further oil fracking in Scotland.

Ian Blackford, ­Ross, Skye and Lochaber

It was third time lucky for Ian Blackford, who previously stood for election twice in the 1990s. At the time, he was treasurer of the SNP, though he left that role after a disagreement with Alex Salmond in 2000.

He has spent most of his career working in financial services and currently runs a consultancy firm with his wife. He is also the chairperson of North West Skye Recreational Association and the director of a community radio station.

He says he will campaign for land reform, digital investment and the living wage.

Deidre Brock,­ Edinburgh North & Leith

Australian Deidre Brock moved to Scotland in 1996. The SNP candidate was elected to Edinburgh City Council in 2007 and is currently Deputy Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

Before entering politics, Brock studied Performing Arts and once appeared in an episode of soap opera Home and Away. She is a board member for Edinburgh International Festival Council and Creative Edinburgh and has also served as Convenor of Culture and Leisure for the city.

During the campaign, she promised to protect pensions from further cuts and backed a rise in the minimum wage.

Brendan O’Hara, ­ Argyll and Bute

Television producer Brendan O’Hara won his seat over 20 years since he last ran for election.

He was also an SNP candidate in the 1987 and 1992 general elections.

He has produced the series Road To Referendum for STV amongst other shows and is currently working on a series about Tom Weir.

Stephen Gethins, ­ North East Fife

Stephen Gethins is a long­term SNP member who has moved from the background to the frontlines. He first joined the party while he was still at school.

He was Special Adviser to Alex Salmond on European Affairs and has also held many adviser roles across Scotland, Europe and America. He holds a degree in Law and a research Masters degree on devolved assemblies. He has vowed to protect the NHS and campaign against nuclear weapons.

George Kerevan, ­ East Lothian

George Kerevan is a journalist and economist, as well as a former Edinburgh city councillor. This is his second time running as an SNP candidate after joining the party in 1996. He was Associate Editor of The Scotsman for nine years and lectured in economics at Napier University. He has sat on the boards of many arts organisations and has produced several documentaries. During the election, he has fought against zero­ hour contracts and promised to campaign for more hi­-tech jobs for East Lothian.

Hannah Bardell, ­ Livingston

Hannah Bardell left a job at GMTV to work with the SNP on their 2007 campaign. She managed Alex Salmond’s constituency office for three years, before working at the Edinburgh Consulate of the US State Department.

She has also served as a member of the Grampian Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee, Business for Scotland and the Aberdeen Performing Arts Development Commitee.

She has said she will be “a pro­-independence MP” and is committed to equality, mobilising many women to become involved in her campaign.

Corri Wilson, ­ Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock

Corri Wilson is currently a local councillor for Ayr East. She has been a community activist for many years, serving on her local school boards, community council and NHS partnership forum. She led the Yes Alliance group for the Referendum and is currently Director of Septembayr [The Ayrshire Festival], Ayrshire Housing and Ayr Renaissance.

Her campaign has focused on issues including austerity, human trafficking, the Prestwick Spaceport and rural internet availability.

Michelle Thomson, Edinburgh West

Graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in 1985 and went into work as a professional musician soon after. She went back into education and gained a Masters in IT, working in a variety of senior roles. In 2009 she set up her own business in property and spent two years as Managing Director of Business for Scotland. Thomson is relatively new to politics, having became active during the referndum.

Mhairi Black, Paisley & Renfrewshire South

Most final ­year students spend this time of year frantically searching for a graduate job ­ but the 20 ­year-­old Politics and Public Policy Student at the University of Glasgow has just made history by becoming the youngest ever MP to be elected to the Westminster Parliament.

Black, the SNP candidate for Paisley & Renfrewshire South, has gathered quite a following since she took an active role in campaigning for the Yes side in the Scottish independence referendum.

As well as becoming a key public speaker at the time, she was involved in the Margo Mobile, which reached out to some of Scotland’s most deprived communities before the the referendum. The Paisley native says she has always been politically ­motivated and took part in protests from a young age, including the anti­ Iraq War marches in 2005. Away from politics, she is a keen Partick Thistle fan and was one of the first girls to play on her primary school football team in Paisley.

Chris Law, Dundee West

Winning the seat was not just a huge achievement, but it was also deeply personal. Mr Law’s mother lived with Multiple Sclerosis, which ultimately ended up taking her life.

He says: “Westminster has proven that it does not care for the vulnerable. It undermines the very fabric of our society. It is detached and uncaring – heartless even. People like my mother are being cast aside and in June 2015 vital disability funding will be stopped.”

Phillipa Whitford, Central Ayrshire

Newly-elected SNP MP Phillipa Whitford, originally from Troon, was a consultant breast surgeon before, and like a number of the newly elected SNP MPs became an active politician after becoming passionate about the referendum.

In May she made a speech addressing Women for Independence, attacking the private ­sector reforms in the English NHS which became an internet hit.

Phil Boswell, Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill

Philip Boswell was born and raised in Coatbridge and is married with three children. He worked as a quantity surveyor and contracts engineer in the oil industry for many years. He said he believes that Westminster does not serve the best interests of either Scotland or Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill.

Alison Thewliss, Glasgow Central

Alison Thewliss, 32, has served as a Glasgow councillor for the Calton Ward in the East End since 2007, and was re-­elected for the same position in 2012. She was the Glasgow SNP group’s spokesperson on Land and Environmental Services, having a keen interest in improving local government and democracy.

She is a member of Scottish CND.

Richard Arkless, Dumfries and Galloway

Mr Arkless says it was the referendum that catalysed his political career, while working on the Yes campaign he realised how the “personal is political”.

He said: “I’m energised and excited by the vision and commitment of so many folk in this region, who believe there is a new and better way of doing politics ­ a politics of purpose and prosperity, of self­reliance and social justice.”

Stewart McDonald, Glasgow South

Born in the constituency and grew up and lived in the Southside for the majority of his life. He currently works for Cathcart MSP James Dornan as a caseworker. Before this he worked for another MSP on campaigns and research, again working within the Glasgow South constituency.

He wants to increase opportunities for young people and create better employment opportunities for everyone in Glasgow South.

Callum McCaig, Aberdeen South

Callum McCaig, SNP Group Leader for Aberdeen City Council, was elected in 2007 and represents the Kincorth/Loirston ward. He grew up in Aberdeen and attended Edinburgh University where he graduated with an MA in politics.

He served in a number of positions in the council administration including Convener of the Licensing Committee and Convener of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee before becoming one of the youngest council leaders in the country in 2011 at the age of 26. Outside of politics, McCaig’s interests involve travel, football and attempting to learn Spanish.

Paul Monaghan, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

First joined the SNP in 1994. He is currently the Director of Highland Homeless Trust, which is a charity that provides specialist housing and support services to vulnerable people.

Monaghan was educated at Inverness Royal Academy and at the University of Stirling where he gained a first class honours degree in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Social Policy. He is a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Monaghan founded ‘Yes Highland’ that campaigned successfully for a Yes vote during the Scottish Independence Referendum.

Drew Hendry, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

Drew Hendry has represented the Highland Council ward of Aird and Loch Ness since 2007 and has been the Leader of the Highland SNP group since 2011. Hendry grew up in Edinburgh and believes his interest in politics was sparked by the 1979 Scottish referendum.

Natalie McGarry, Glasgow East

Glasgow East SNP activist, Natalie McGarry won a seat in Parliament with a majority of 24,116 votes. Delighted with the result, McGarry tweeted, “My team, you take so much of the credit. We ran a clean, positive campaign. Voters rejected negativity.”

McGarry is a co-­founder of the group ‘Women for Independence’ which was established in 2012 and aimed to represent all female voices at both sides of the referendum debate. Born and raised in Fife, McGarry studied law at the University of Aberdeen and works as a policy adviser for a voluntary sector organisation.

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