Douglas Alexander


Douglas Alexander was successfully re-elected as MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South in My 2010 with a majority of 16,614 votes.

Born in Glasgow in 1967, Douglas grew up in Bishopton, where his father was the local Minister until his recent retirement. He attended Bishopton Primary and Park Mains High in Erskine.

In 1984, at the age of 17, Douglas won a Scottish Scholarship to attend Lester B Pearson, UWC of the Pacific, an international college near Vancouver, Canada, for two years. After gaining the International Baccalaureate, he returned to Scotland to study Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University. During this time, he Chaired the University Labour Club, then the largest student Labour Club in the country, and held a number of positions in his local Constituency Labour Party.

In 1988, he won a further scholarship to study for a year at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League University in Philadelphia, USA. During his time in the States, he worked as a Press Steward for the Dukakis Presidential Campaign, and worked for a Democratic Senator on Capitol Hill.

After graduating with a first class MA Hons Degree, he began work as a Parliamentary Researcher and Speechwriter for Gordon Brown MP, a position he held for a year, before returning to Scotland to qualify as a lawyer. He graduated from Edinburgh University LLB (Dist) in 1993, and gained his Diploma in Legal Practice the following year.

While Douglas was still a trainee solicitor, the death of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn QC MP in 1995 caused a by-election in the highly volatile Tory seat of Perth and Kinross. He was invited to seek selection as Labour's candidate by friends in the Perth Labour Party, and he was duly selected in March 1995 as the candidate by the local party membership.

It was a seat where Labour has never previously done particularly well, and the result, which saw Labour overtake the Conservatives and move up to second place, broke several post war election records.

After the by-election campaign, Douglas returned to work as a lawyer, and on completion of his training, began work for a firm of solicitors that provides legal services to Trade Union members, and specialises in industrial injury cases. In 1997, fulfilling his pledge to Perth Labour Party, he returned as their candidate for the General Election, when once again Labour achieved a further swing and slashed the SNP majority even further.

Following the death of Paisley South MP Gordon McMaster in July 1997, Douglas was invited to return to his native Renfrewshire to seek selection as Labour's candidate. After being overwhelmingly selected by the membership of Paisley South Labour Party, he held the seat for Labour despite difficult circumstances and a reduced turn-out.

In June 2001 he was returned to Westminster with an increased majority.

Shortly after the election Douglas was appointed Minister for e-Commerce and Competitiveness at the Department of Trade and Industry. In May 2002, he was appointed Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, overseeing the work of the Government's influential Strategy Unit, the Central Office of Information, and the Civil Service. In the June 2003 reshuffle, Douglas was promoted to Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In the September 2004 reshuffle Douglas was appointed as Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs.

Following the General Election in May 2005 Douglas was re-elected, becoming MP for the new constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire South, as well as promoted to Minister of State for Europe attending Cabinet at the Foreign Office.

Douglas Alexander was Minister of Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs from September 2004 to April 2005. He was Minister of State for Europe from May 2005 to May 2006 and from May 2006 to June 2007, Douglas was Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland.

Douglas was appointed Secretary of State for International Development during the reshuffle on Thursday 28th June 2007. After the 2010 general election he was appointed shadow work and pensions secretary by Ed Miliband.


Paisley and Renfrewshire South


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Constituency Address

2014 Mile End Mill, Abbey Mill Business Park, Paisley, PA1 1JS.

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Constituency Tel

0141 561 0333

Date of Birth

26 October 1967




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