Template:Infobox MSP

Robin Harper is a Scottish politician. He is co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, and Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Lothians. He is the party's spokesman on education and young people.

Harper became an MSP in the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the first ever elected Green parliamentarian in the United Kingdom.

Education and careerEdit

Born on 4 August 1940 in Thurso, Caithness, and educated at St Marylebone Grammar School and Elgin Academy he graduated in 1962 from the University of Aberdeen.

He worked as a modern studies teacher at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh, and before that as an English teacher in Kenya.

Scottish Parliament Edit

Harper stood for election to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, and was elected as an additional member for the Lothians region, becoming the first ever elected Green parliamentarian in the UK's political history. In an emotional speech, he promised to be a critical voice on the environment in the Parliament.[1] He criticised the Scottish Executive's decision to split ministerial responsibility for the environment in 2001.[2]

He served as his party's sole representative in the first Parliament (1999-2003) until the 2003 election, when the Scottish Green Party won another 6 seats in the regional lists.[3]

In 2004 he was a member of the Scottish Parliament team in the TV general knowledge program University Challenge: The Professionals. He and fellow team members Richard Baker (Labour), Jamie Stone (Lib Dem) who was captain, and Stewart Stevenson (SNP) beat a Welsh Assembly team by 110 points to 75.[4]

In January 2007, The Scotsman reported that Harper was being considered for the next Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. Harper stated that he did not know of this story, but said "it would be an honour even to be considered".[5]

In April 2007, Robin Harper promised to end support for Catholic schools in Scotland.[6] In a BBC radio interview on Radio Scotland Harper stated that Catholic schools in Scotland promote homophobia by their religious stance.

Following the 2007 elections to the Scottish Parliament, Harper was returned as a list MSP for the Lothians, this time one of only two Green Party members elected.[7] After an agreement with the Scottish National Party, Harper voted for Alex Salmond to become First Minister of Scotland. In return Patrick Harvie was nominated to head the Holyrood Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.[8]

Personal life Edit

Harper is a patron of many organisations including LGBT Youth Scotland, an organisation dedicated to the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people in the life of Scotland. He is married. He is also an Honorary Vice-President of English-Speaking Union Scotland.

He was elected as Rector of the University of Aberdeen in 2005, having previously served as Rector of the University of Edinburgh.

References Edit


External linksEdit

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