- Kenny MacAskill
name = Kenny MacAskill
honorific-suffix = MSP
imagesize = 200px
Cabinet Secretary for Justice
17 May 2007
(as Minister for Justice)
successor = Incumbent
constituency_MP2 = Edinburgh East and Musselburgh
parliament2 = Scottish
majority2 = 1,382 (4.6%)
3 May 2007
birth_date = Birth date and age|1958|04|28|df=yes
nationality = Scottish
Scottish National Party
University of Edinburgh
Background and family life
MacAskill was born in
Edinburghand was educated at Linlithgow Academy before studying law at the University of Edinburgh. After completing his training at a firm in Glasgow, he set up Erskine MacAskill. He is married with two sons.
He came to prominence inside the SNP through his activities in the left wing
79 Groupand became a party office bearer. In the 1980s he led the "Can Pay, Won't Pay" campaign in opposition to the Poll Tax. It was widely known that he often disagreed politically with Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP through the 1990s, and he was at one stage viewed as belonging to the SNP Fundamentalistcamp, being perceived to be allied to figures such as Jim Sillarsand Alex Neilwithin the party.
After MacAskill became on MSP in 1999 upon the establishment of the
Scottish Parliamentas a regional list member for the Lothians he moderated his political position, seeing the development of the Scottish Parliament as the most achievable route for Scotland to become an Independent Nation State. In this respect he was regarded as having adopted a gradualist approach to Scottish independencein place of his previous fundamentalist position. He was one of former SNP leader John Swinney's closest supporters.
In 1999 MacAskill was detained in
Londonbefore the Euro 2000 second leg play-off match between Scotland and England on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/535592.stm Arrest incident 'closed', insists SNP] , " BBC News", 25 November 1999] As he was not charged with any crime the incident did not affect his position within the SNP and he was won re-election at the 2003 election.
In 2004, after
John Swinneystood down as SNP party leader, Kenny MacAskill backed the joint leadership ticket of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. He had initially intended to stand for deputy leader himself on a joint ticket with Nicola Sturgeon, who would have sought the leadership. He gave way when Salmond reconsidered his earlier decision not to seek re-election to the leaders position. Upon their election as leader and depute leader respectively MacAskill was selected to be the SNP's depute leader in the Scottish Parliament, making him the shadow Deputy First Minister.
MacAskill authored a book, 'Building a Nation - Post Devolution Nationalism in Scotland', which was launched at the SNP's 2004 annual conference in Inverness. He has since edited another book 'Agenda for a New Scotland - Visions of Scotland 2020' and has co-authored 'Global Scots - Voices From Afar' with former First Minister
For the 2007 Scottish Parliament election MacAskill was top of the SNP's party list for the Lothians region. He stood in the Edinburgh East and Musselburgh constituency, winning that seat from the
Scottish Labour Partywith a 13.3% swing to give a majority of 1,382. This was the first time the SNP had ever won a parliamentary seat in Edinburgh. After the SNP's victory at the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election, MacAskill became the Cabinet Secretary for Justice.
One of MacAskill's first acts as a cabinet secretary was to lift the ban on alcohol sales at international
rugby uniongames held at Murrayfield Stadium. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/rugby/article1907144.ece Murrayfield toasts lifting of drinks ban] , " The Times" 9 June 2007]
MacAskill also insists that the 2007 terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport was not committed by 'home-grown' terrorists. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6258758.stm Terrorists not 'home-grown'] , "
BBC News" 1 July 2007]
* [http://www.kenny-macaskill.co.uk/ Kenny MacAskill MSP] official site
* [http://election.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=324&id=601382005 An independent Scotland hinges on its economy] Kenny MacAskill's article in The Scotsman 2 June, 2005
* [http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/membersPages/kenny_macaskill/index.htm Kenny MacAskill MSP] Scottish Parliament webpage
* [http://www.snp.org/node/6481 Kenny MacAskill MSP] biography at SNP website
* [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/govtmay307/14944/Scottish-Cabinet/kenmacaskill Kenny MacAskill MSP] Scottish Government biography
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