- Winnie Ewing
Dr Winifred Margaret 'Winnie' Ewing (born
10 July 1929) is a prominent Scottish National Party(SNP) politician, and was formerly a Member of Parliament(MP), Member of the European Parliament(MEP) and Member of the Scottish Parliament(MSP).
She became active in campaigning for
Scottish independencethrough her membership of the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association, and came to prominence in 1967 when she won the watershed Hamilton by-election as the Scottish National Party(SNP) candidate. A practising solicitor at the time of her election, she proved to be a sound choice as her eloquence and ability bolstered a hard-fought SNP campaign and saw her through to victory. She was also helped on to victory by a team of enthusiastic helpers, none more so than her hardworking election agent, John McAteer. She famously said at the time of her election, 'stop the world, Scotland wants to get on', and her presence at Westminsterproved to be a real focus for the SNP with a significant rise in membership being the result. Furthermore, many political commentators speculate that it was as a result of her victory that the then Labour Government established the Kilbrandon Commission to look into the establishment of a devolved Scottish Assembly.
Despite her high profile she was unsuccessful in retaining the Hamilton seat at the 1970 General Election, but she managed to be re-elected to Westminster at the February 1974 Election for Moray and Nairn, and held her seat in the repeat election in October of the same year. She first became an MEP in 1975, at a time when the European Parliament was still composed of representative delegations from national parliaments. She ceased to be a Westminster MP after the May 1979 election, but within weeks had reclaimed her seat at the European Parliament in the first direct elections to the body.
It was during her time as an MEP that she acquired the nickname "Madame Ecosse" (French for "Mrs Scotland"). The term was meant to be given in jest and used in a disparaging way by her opponents, but Ewing used the term as a badge of pride and it stuck.
In 1999 she gave up being an MEP and became an MSP in the first session of the Scottish Parliament, representing the Highlands and Islands. As the oldest member it was her duty to preside over the opening of the Scottish Parliament, a session she opened with the famous words, 'The Scottish Parliament, adjourned on the 25th day of March in the year 1707, is hereby reconvened'.
During the controversy that arose in the early years of the
Scottish Parliamentsurrounding proposals to repeal Clause 28(a law banning the active promotion of homosexuality in schools) she joined her son Fergus Ewingin abstaining, although her daughter in law Margaret Ewingsupported repeal as did the majority of her party's MSPs.
In 2003 she lost her husband, Stewart Ewing, in a fire accident. He had been active with her in politics for many years, and had himself served as an SNP councillor for the
Summerstonarea in Glasgow. The same year she lost her husband she stood down from being an MSP, although she continued to serve as the SNP's President, a position she held for many years.
15 July 2005she announced she would be stepping down as President of the Scottish National Partyat its September Conference, bringing to an end her 38 year career in representative politics.
Fergus Ewingserves as SNP MSP, as did his late wife Margaret Ewing, whilst her daughter Annabelle Ewingwas an SNP MP.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Winnie — could refer to:General*a supposed Puma that actually appeared to be a cat *an agglomeration in Texas *a Japanese peer to peer program called Winny *a Canadian Black Bear (Winnie) resident at London Zoo in the 1920s. *a fictional bear, Winnie the… … Wikipedia
Ewing (surname) — Family name name=Ewing imagesize= meaning=noble or well born region=Britain language=English related names=Ewan Ewen and Ewens Ewin and Ewins Ewings Hewin and Hewins Owen Uwins Yewen Youens YouingsEwing, pronounced [IPA| ju.wɪŋ] ( yew ing ), is a … Wikipedia
Fergus Ewing — Infobox MSP honorific prefix = name = Fergus Ewing honorific suffix = imagesize = 150px caption = office =Minister for Community Safety term start = 17 May 2007 term end = firstminister = Alex Salmond predecessor =Johann Lamont (as Deputy… … Wikipedia
Margaret Ewing — Member of the Scottish Parliament for Moray In office 6 May 1999 – 21 March 2006 Preceded by New Parliament Succeeded by Richard Lochhead … Wikipedia
Annabelle Ewing — (born 20 August 1960) is a Scottish politician, and former Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament for Perth. She attended the Craigholme School for Girls in Glasgow and the University of Glasgow, where she graduated with a law degree … Wikipedia
Scottish National Party — Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h Alba Scottis Naitional Pairtie Leader Alex Salmond MSP … Wikipedia
History of the Scottish National Party — In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) is a centre left political party which campaigns for Scottish independence. It currently holds power in Scotland with its leader Alex Salmond as First Minister of Scotland, following the outcome of… … Wikipedia
List of political families in the United Kingdom — Everyone here is/was an MP unless otherwise stated.Aitkens* William Maxwell Aitken (1879 1964), MP 1910 1916, later 1st Baron Beaverbrook ** Max Aitken, Conservative MP 1945 1950, later 2nd Baron Beaverbrook; son of Lord Beaverbrook ** William… … Wikipedia
Moray and Nairn (UK Parliament constituency) — Moray and Nairn Former County constituency for the House of Commons 1918 (1918)–1983 (1983) … Wikipedia
Elections in Scotland — Scotland has elections to several bodies: the Scottish Parliament, the United Kingdom Parliament, the European Parliament, local councils and community councils.cottish ParliamentGeneral electionsOnly political parties with more than 1% of the… … Wikipedia