Welcome

Welcome to my campaign website. I'm standing to become Depute Leader of the SNP, a post that's become even more important since the referendum result. We have to engage the 45% of Scots who voted for independence and make sure that they are enabled and encouraged towards delivering independence in the long run because this is not going to be an easy haul. We have to do more than talk to the 45%, though, we have to talk to the 55% who voted No as well - their voices have to be heard in the debate; Scotland’s citizens are building a new nation piece by piece, building new hope and a better future, and we need all of Scotland to come with us.

The new Depute Leader will have a number of jobs to do for the party; he or she will have to support the new Party Leader (whom I hope and expect will be my current boss, Nicola Sturgeon) but will also have to lead the SNP's engagement with Scotland, develop policy and reach out to the massive number of new members. It would be a challenge for anyone but it's a challenge I welcome and will relish.

I became active in the SNP during the Thatcher regime, and my politics are coloured to some extent by the fight against poverty and for social justice. I know what austerity does to people and I know that it's not necessary in a country as rich as Scotland. I graduated from Dundee University with a degree in politics and spent some time as a senior council officer in Stirling and was elected leader of Clackmannan Council.

I won the Ochil Scottish Parliament constituency in 2007, succeeding George Reid, and joined the Scottish Government as a Minister in 2009.

I want the chance to be Depute Leader of the SNP and play my part in taking the party forward. There are opportunities and there are challenges for us and I've been planning ahead already. I hope you'll support me and give me your number 1 vote.