Richard Lochhead

Summary

Richard Lochhead
Richard Lochhead 2021.jpg
Official portrait, 2021
Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work
Assumed office
20 May 2021
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byNewly established
Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science
In office
4 September 2018 – 20 May 2021
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byShirley-Anne Somerville
Succeeded byJamie Hepburn
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment
In office
17 May 2007 – 18 May 2016
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded byRoss Finnie
Succeeded byFergus Ewing
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Moray
Assumed office
27 April 2006
Preceded byMargaret Ewing
Majority3,164 (7.7%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for North East Scotland
In office
6 May 1999 – 19 April 2006
Preceded bynew parliament
Succeeded byMaureen Watt
Personal details
Born (1969-05-24) 24 May 1969 (age 52)
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
NationalityScottish
Political partyScottish National Party
Spouse(s)Fiona Lochhead
Children2
Alma materUniversity of Stirling
OccupationOffice manager; Economic development officer
Websitewww.richardlochhead.org

Richard Neilson Lochhead (born 24 May 1969) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who is Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work and has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Moray since 2006. He was previously an MSP for North East Scotland 1999–2006 and served as the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment from 2007 to 2016, and the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science from 2018 to 2021.

Background and early career

A native of Paisley, Lochhead attended Williamwood High School in Clarkston and Central College of Commerce in Glasgow before he graduated in 1994 in Political Studies from the University of Stirling. He worked for the SNP leader, Alex Salmond, as his Office Manager from 1994 to 1998, before becoming an environmental development officer for Dundee City Council.[1][2] He was the SNP candidate in Gordon in the 1997 UK General Election, where he finished third. He subsequently fought the Aberdeen Central constituency in both 1999 and 2003, but came second to Lewis Macdonald each time.

Scottish Parliament

Lochhead was elected to the Scottish Parliament at the 1999 election and re-elected at the 2003 election for the North East Scotland Region. In January 2006 he was selected as the SNP candidate for Moray for the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, following the announcement that Margaret Ewing MSP would be retiring. He beat Margaret Ewing's sister-in-law, former MP Annabelle Ewing in the selection.[3] Ewing's premature death triggered a by-election and Lochhead resigned his additional member seat in April 2006 in order to successfully contest the Moray by-election. He was elected on 28 April 2006.[4] This was the first time since the Second World War that an incumbent party had retained a by-election seat without losing votes or having their majority or share of the vote lowered.

He was convener of the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament 11 June 2003 – 14 September 2004. In opposition he held the SNP's portfolios on Environment, Energy, Fishing and Rural Affairs in the Scottish Parliament.[5]

After the SNP's victory at the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election, it was announced on 16 May 2007 that Lochhead would be the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, taking up the position the following day.[6] The junior Ministerial position of Minister for the Environment was initially given to Michael Russell (currently held by Aileen McLeod). In May 2007, Lochhead started his tenure with promises to "relentlessly" pursue the Scottish fishing interests on behalf of fishermen and their communities.[7]

Lochhead was re-elected at the 2011 election with a further increased majority of 10,944. He announced his resignation as Environment Secretary, effective on 18 May 2016, as Nicola Sturgeon put together her reshuffle to appoint the second Sturgeon government.[8]

On 31 August 2018 he was announced as Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.[9]

He retained his seat at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, with an increased majority, number of votes and percentage of votes cast.[10][11]

After the election, he was appointed as Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work in 2021

Personal life

Richard Lochhead is married to Fiona, and they have two children together.[8]

References

  1. ^ Black, Andrew (13 October 2010). "In profile: Richard Lochhead". BBC News. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  2. ^ Davidson, Jenni (5 February 2016). "Interview with Richard Lochhead". Holyrood. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Salmond closer to Holyrood return". BBC News. BBC. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2006.
  4. ^ "SNP's joy at by-election victory". BBC News. BBC. 28 April 2006.
  5. ^ "MSPs > Previous MSPs (session 2) > Richard Lochhead". parliament.scot. Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Salmond announces his new cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 16 May 2007.
  7. ^ "SNP to trawl for thoughts of fishermen". The Scotsman. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Richard Lochhead resigns from Scottish Government cabinet". The Scotsman. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Richard Lochhead to return to Scottish government". BBC News. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  10. ^ Clark, Jonathan. "Re-elected MSP Richard Lochhead "humbled" by "astounding" SNP result in Moray". Northern-scot.co.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  11. ^ Clark, Jonathan. "Richard Lochhead re-elected as SNP win in Moray". Grampianonline.co.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2021.

External links

  • personal website
  • Scottish Parliament profiles of MSPs: Richard Lochhead
  • profile on SNP website
Scottish Parliament
New parliament
Member of the Scottish Parliament for North East Scotland
19992006
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the Scottish Parliament for Moray
2006–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment
2007–2016
Succeeded by