Ian became MP for Edinburgh South on 6th May 2010.
Ian was born to a cooper father and shop worker mother in 1976. Brought up in
Wester Hailes, Ian when to Dumbryden primary school, then Wester Hailes Education
Ian enrolled at Edinburgh University at the age of 16. He supported
his studies with part-time job in a local fish & chip shop,
where he then set up and ran a pizza delivery service. Ian
studied Social Policy and Law and graduated with an Honours
degree at the age of 20. He went on to work at the Royal Blind
Asylum and then in pensions management after graduating.
After this Ian was head hunted by an Edinburgh based internet television station
(Worldart.com) during the dot.com boom where he helped to build a new online
TV station. Ultimately, the company ran out funding but, after being made redundant,
Ian progressed to set-up his own event management business, 100mph Events Ltd.
As an event manager, Ian ran the largest arts festival in Europe for 7 years,
during which time he was involved in television production, artistic programming,
sponsorship and financial management and all other areas of the business from
building scaffolding to presenting artists. Ian's proudest moment as an event
manager was his concert with Billy Bragg, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Earle, Joan Baez
and Emmy-Lou Harris, which raised over £100,000 for the Landmine for a Free World
Charity in 2004. Ian's event management experience has included organising live
music concerts and broadcasting over the internet, from various of Edinburgh's
large music venues.
Ian also organised a student exchange programme in Nepal to fund school buildings
In 2003, Ian stood for the Council elections in Liberton and won a
seat at the age of 27. He stood down from his council position in 2010 when he
became a Member of Parliament.
Ian has been involved in the hospitality trade, having
rennovated and operated 3 establishments over 8 years
with his partner of 10 years, Hannah and was responsible for
working with the police to set-up a pub watch scheme in the
Ian is a Trustee of the Great War Memorial Committee which built and maintains
Edinburgh War Memorial on the Somme.
Ian's interest in wildlife
and conservation includes a longstanding support for Care
for the Wild and it's polar bear research programme. Ian
is a member of Amnesty International, USDAW Union and the
In rare moments of spare time, Ian enjoys
reading, watching films and football, inexpertly playing
tennis and football, live concerts, film, visiting art galleries,
museums and cooking.