I have been the MP for Dundee West since May 2005 and am proud to have lived in Dundee for most of my life and represent the people from my community in Parliament. I currently live in the Law area with my wife Norma, and we have two grown up children.
I was born in 1956 in Glasgow but moved to Dundee when I was nine years old. I left school aged 15 and begun an apprenticeship as a glazier at 16 doing this job for 14 years until being made redundant in 1987. I then worked as a glazier with Dundee District Council Public Works Department for 10 years. Throughout my employment with Dundee District Council I was very active within my Trade Union the GMB and in 1997 I started working full time for them as a Trade Union Organiser.
Being a Trade Union Official and an MP requires many similar qualities. Both have as their priority the welfare of the people they represent. Much as I would meet many of my Union members and try to sort out workplace problems I also meet many of my constituents and try and sort out their problems with tax credits, immigration cases and the Child Support Agency etc.
I have been involved with the Labour Party for many years now and was a councillor on Tayside Regional Council and an election agent on five separate occasions.
As an MP there are a number of issues in which I have a particular interest and which directly impact upon the people of Dundee West. Pension policy is a particular concern. During the election campaign and ever since I was elected I have spoken to a number of people, especially women, whose pension needs are simply not met by the current State Pension. The debate on pensions is going to be really important to this term in Parliament and I plan to participate fully in those debates.
Other issues in which I have a great interest are annual leave entitlements, equal rights and pay for women, health and safety, transport links and other issues which have an impact on Scotland. I am also interested in overseas matters and international development issues, particularly in relation to the millennium development goals.
For me Dundee West is an eclectic mix of student population, native Dundonians, ethnic communities, industry, technology, universities, colleges, medical teaching and research and so much more. We have much to take pride in throughout Dundee West and I am very proud to be its representative.
Busy city centre streets
Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre