Brief Biog

Click here to read "This is my story....."


Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, 10 August 1976


Wester Hailes Education Centre

Edinburgh University, MA (Hons) Social Policy and Law

Current Position: Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Council of Europe

Offices Held:

Westminster Spokesperson for the Scottish Labour Party 2016-2017

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland 2015-2016

Shadow Business Minister for Employee Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs 2011-2013

Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2010-2011

Vice Chair Backbench DCMS Committee 2010-2011 

Committee Membership (former):

Member, Business, Innovation and Skills Committee 2010 -2011

Member, Environmental Audit Committee 2010-2013 


All Party Parliamentary Groups:

Member, All-party Parliamentary Space Committee

Member, British American All Parliamentary Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary BBC Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary ITV Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Journalism

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Football Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Events

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Haiti

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Equitable Life

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and the Middle East

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Business, Finance and Accountancy

Organisation Membership:

Member, Scottish Labour Party,

Member, Co-operative Party

Member, USDAW

Member, Community

Member, Fabian Society

Member, Progress

Trustee, McCraes Battalion Trust

Trustee, Royal Observatory of Edinburgh 

Political Career:

Campaign Manager, Edinburgh Pentlands, General Election May 2001

Member of City of Edinburgh Council, 2003-2010 representing Alnwickhill and then the larger Liberton/Gilmerton Ward.

Elected to Westminster, General Election 6th May 2010.



During his time at school, Ian ran a pizza delivery business before working with the Royal Blind Asylum whilst studying at Edinburgh University.  Following his graduation, Ian worked with the WM Company and Scottish Equitable in financial services.


After leaving this line of work, Ian built up a vast amount of experience in the culture and media arena.  In 1998, he worked on and then ran Europe’s largest live television art broadcast which ran for 7 summers.  This was an exciting project which was unique in utilising internet broadcasting during this time.  At the same time he set up an event management business, 100mph Events.


Ian had refurbished a 16th century coaching house in 2005 before running a number of bars with his partner Hannah.


University of Edinburgh 1993-1997

Codfather Fish and Pizza Bar 1990-1995 (part time server and delivery driver)

Royal Blind Home 1994 (kitchen porter)

Meat Hygiene Service 1995-1996 (administrator)

Ministry of Agriculture 1997 (mapper)

WM Company 1997-1998 (administrator)

Scottish Equitable (Aegon) 1998-2000 (financial settlements)

Edinburgh Festival (Festival Revue and World Art) 1998-2004 (Programmer then Director of Operations) - 2000-2001 (Director of Operations)

Alba Town Business Centre 2001-2002 (Receptionist)

Festival Revue 2001 Ltd – 2001-2002 (Director of Operations)

100mph Events Ltd – 2001-date (Managing Director)

Roomy Inns LLP – 2005 (Partner)

Alibi Bars LLP – 2005-2010 (Partner)


(Some positions overlapped)

Political interests:

Ian has an interest in the economy, media, energy, green issues and foreign affairs with a particular focus on the Middle East and the US.

Leisure interests:

During the rare spare time he has, Ian enjoys reading, going to the cinema, inexpertly playing football with the Parliamentary Football Team, going to live music concerts, visiting art galleries and museums and cooking

He has spent most of his recent spare time in Chairing the Foundation of Hearts that is purchasing Heart of Midlothian Football Club to take it into supporter ownership. Ian also sits on the Board of the club as an unremunerated non-executive Director representing the Foundation of Hearts.