Andy Kerr (Scottish politician)

Andy Kerr (born 17 March 1962, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire) is a Scottish Labour politician and former Member of the Scottish Parliament for East Kilbride constituency, a seat which he held from 1999 until 2011.

Andy Kerr
Minister for Health and Community Care
In office
6 October 2004  16 May 2007
First MinisterJack McConnell
Preceded byMalcolm Chisholm
Succeeded byNicola Sturgeon
(as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for East Kilbride
In office
6 May 1999  22 March 2011
Preceded bynew constituency
Succeeded byLinda Fabiani
Personal details
Born (1962-03-17) 17 March 1962 (age 58)
East Kilbride, Scotland
Political partyScottish Labour Party
Alma materGlasgow Caledonian University

Early years

Kerr was educated at Claremont High School in East Kilbride and obtained a BA in Social Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Prior to being elected to the Scottish Parliament, he was a senior officer in Glasgow City Council land services department and served as an adviser in the Leader's office. He was also founder and managing director of Achieving, a quality assurance consultancy.

Parliamentary career

He was convener of the Scottish Parliament's Transport and Environment Committee and served on the Confederation of British Industry working group designed to bring Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and business closer together as well as being on the cross-party group on ageing and the elderly.

Kerr is considered to be an ally of Motherwell and Wishaw MSP Jack McConnell, working with him on his two successive bids for the leadership of Scottish Labour and the position of First Minister.

Kerr was first appointed Minister for Finance and Public Services in the Scottish Executive in November 2001 and moved to become Minister for Health and Community Care in October 2004, replacing Malcolm Chisolm. As Health Minister, Kerr oversaw significant NHS restructuring.

He was also responsible for the Scottish ban on smoking ban in public places which was introduced on 26 March 2006. In November 2006, he won the Scottish Politician of the Year award in recognition of his work to bring in the smoking ban.[1] Kerr retained the health portfolio in McConnell's shadow cabinet upon the Scottish National Party's victory at the 2007 election.[2]

Having ruled himself out of contention as a successor for Jack McConnell, Kerr voted for Wendy Alexander to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party. On 17 September 2007 he was appointed Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Public Services and Local Government. With Wendy Alexander's resignation as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Kerr stood for election as the next leader. However, following the victory of Iain Gray in the leadership election, Kerr was appointed Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth.

At the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, Kerr was one of many Labour casualties, losing his seat after 12 years to Linda Fabiani of the SNP.[3] Kerr did not stand on the regional list, so therefore did not return as an MSP.

Personal life

Kerr lives in Strathaven with his wife and three daughters.

On 11 July 2011, it was announced that Andy had been appointed to the vacant CEO position at Scottish Charity Organisation, Sense Scotland.[4]