John McAllion


John McAllion

John McAllion (born 13 February 1948, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish socialist politician and a member of the Scottish Socialist Party.

He was originally a member of the Scottish Labour Party (SLP) that was formed in 1976 by Jim Sillars, when the SLP collapsed he chose to join the Labour Party (unlike Sillars who joined the Scottish National Party). A teacher by profession, McAllion became a Labour member of Tayside regional council of which he became the convenor in 1986. In the 1987 general election McAllion was elected Labour MP for the Dundee East constituency, defeating SNP leader Gordon Wilson, who had been the sitting MP since 1974.

McAllion was a member of Scottish Labour Action putting him on the Scottish-nationalist wing of the Labour Party, and also of the Labour Campaign for Socialism, placing him firmly on the left of the party. As befitted a member of the Scottish Labour Action group he strongly favoured home rule for Scotland, and was often outspoken in his defence of civic-minded Scottish nationalism. In 1999 he was elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent Dundee East.

As an MSP he furthered his reputation as a left-winger, rebelling several times against the Labour led Scottish Executive. He was also convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Petitions Committee. In 2000 he helped establish the Scottish Left Review publication. At the 2003 parliament election he lost his seat to Shona Robison, the SNP candidate. The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) pulled out of contesting the seat in favour of McAllion, but ironically this may have assisted his defeat.

Since the election defeat McAllion has been working with Oxfam and resigned his membership of the Labour Party, subsequently joining the Scottish Socialist Party.

In 2006 McAllion stood for the SSP in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election of 9 February ( [http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16612819&method=full&siteid=64736&headline=candidate-catherine-puts-labour-before-pregnancy--name_page.html] ).

He was elected to the SSP executive at its conference in March 2006. He was elected co-chair (along with Morag Balfour) at its conference in October 2007, but he stood down during his term of office for personal reasons.


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