Bill Bowman (Scottish politician)


William Archibald Bowman (born 30 May 1950) is a Scottish Conservative Party politician who has served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the North East Scotland region since December 2016. Born in Glasgow and educated at the University of Edinburgh, Bowman received accreditation as a chartered accountant in 1976. He subsequently joined accounting firm Peat Marwick, the predecessor of KPMG, working successively in their Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices until 2001. Having secured promotion as Deputy Senior Partner, Bowman moved to Bucharest in 2002, where he engaged with KPMG's operations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with a particular focus on Romania and Moldova.

Bill Bowman

Bowman in January 2017
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for North East Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
Assumed office
21 December 2016
Preceded byAlex Johnstone
Personal details
Born
William Archibald Bowman

(1950-05-30) 30 May 1950 (age 70)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political partyScottish Conservative Party
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
ProfessionChartered Accountant

Leaving KPMG, Bowman returned to the United Kingdom in 2013. He was selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Dundee East constituency at the 2015 general election, as well as the area's equivalent seat for the Scottish Parliament at the 2016 election, but finished third on both occasions. After the death of Conservative colleague Alex Johnstone in December 2016, Bowman was selected to replace him as an MSP for North East Scotland, having been positioned next on the regional list. Since his accession, he has become the Scottish Conservatives' Spokesperson for Taxation. Bowman has become well known for both his financial interests as well as his membership of various parliamentary committees and groupings.

Early life and education


William Archibald Bowman was born in Glasgow on 30 May 1950.[1] He was educated at the independent High School of Glasgow and Edinburgh's George Watson's College, the latter from 1961 until 1968.[1][2] Bowman then went up to the University of Edinburgh,[3] where he graduated Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) in 1973.[1][2]

Financial career


After accreditation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Bowman qualified as a chartered accountant in 1976.[1][3] In the same year, he joined the Edinburgh section of Peat Marwick, the predecessor of KPMG, before establishing himself as an early member of the firm's Aberdeen branch in 1981, becoming a partner in 1985.[1][3] There he remained until 2001, concurrently serving as a director of Aberdeen-based Target Energy Group Ltd between June and September 2000, before moving to Bucharest in 2002.[1][4] Bowman took up a role as Deputy Senior Partner of KPMG's operations in Romania and Moldova, as well as the wider Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, serving on the Supervisory Committee of the latter.[1][2] Specialising in risk management and ethics, Bowman also served as an elected board member of the Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania,[1] United Way Romania[5] and the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce.[1] During this time, he was quoted regularly in the national media, most frequently in Wall-street.ro, an online business publication in Romania.[6]

Leaving KPMG in 2012, Bowman joined the board of Bucharest's UTI Holdings in October of the same year, serving until April 2013.[2] In a declaration of financial interests, he is listed as a shareholder in a wide range of companies, most substantially in Glasgow-based quality assurance firm Tenairvia Consulting Ltd, dissolved in November 2017, for which he owned 100% of shares.[7] Other investments have included stakes in equity firms Simmons Private Equity, Vanguard S&P and Concept Fund Solutions PLC, investment fund Guttmann Investor, oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell, media organisation ITV, consumer goods producer Unilever and British American Tobacco.[7] Bowman's personal portfolio was quoted by The Courier & Advertiser in September 2018 as "worth more than £600,000".[8]

Political life


Bowman on the day of his accession to the Scottish Parliament, 21 December 2016

Bowman returned to the United Kingdom later in 2013, settling in Fife.[1] He "took up an active interest in politics" shortly afterwards and was subsequently selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Dundee East constituency in August 2014 to fight the upcoming general election of the following year.[2][3] Finishing third, behind incumbent Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament (MP) Stewart Hosie and Labour's Lesley Brennan, later briefly a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP),[9] Bowman captured 7,206 ballots, 15% of the total cast, a small reduction of 0.2% compared with the previous Conservative's vote share.[10][11] In a contemporary interview with the Financial Times, citing the predicted success of the SNP, Bowman stated: "A lot of people I know are very concerned about the move to the left. The SNP is trying to out-Labour Labour, and Labour is trying to out-Labour itself".[12]

A month later, in June 2015, he was selected to fight the equivalent Scottish Parliament constituency of Dundee City East for the Scottish Conservatives.[1][2] Despite increasing the party's vote share by 7.6% with 4,969 ballots, Bowman again finished third in the 2016 contest, behind incumbent MSP Shona Robison of the SNP and Labour's Richard McCready.[13] His campaign predominantly advertised job creation, investment in public amenities and a commitment to advocate for the decentralisation of Police Scotland.[14] As of September 2018, he is a permanent resident of the city.[15]

Upon the death of Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone in December 2016, Bowman was selected to replace him as a representative for North East Scotland, having been positioned next on the regional list.[16] He was sworn in as an MSP on 21 December by taking his Oath of Allegiance in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament.[16][17] Having joined the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, Bowman soon came under scrutiny by opposition politicians for selling nearly £30,000 worth of British American Tobacco shares on 12 January 2017, with Labour speculating whether he had done so on Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson's recommendation, perhaps in order to avoid public concern over vested interests.[18] Retorting, the Conservative group highlighted that "[Bowman] has declared his shareholdings openly and in line with procedure, as have many other MSPs."[18] Otherwise unusual for MSPs, he does not claim public funds to maintain a second abode in Edinburgh, the location of the Scottish Parliament, owing to his constituency's relative proximity to the legislature;[8] that said, Bowman attracted further criticism after lodging £1,601 and £13,483 in dining and hotel accommodation expenses, respectively, dating from his accession to September 2018.[15]

Parliamentary duties

Bowman has served as a member of the parliamentary Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee, as well as a substitute member of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee.[19] These duties are combined with his position as the Scottish Conservatives' Spokesperson for Taxation, a duty he has exercised since 28 June 2017.[20][21] In this capacity, a parliamentary question tabled by Bowman to the Scottish Government in June 2018 first revealed that national business rates were taxing firms £200m more than those operating under English regulations.[22] Bowman is also a constituent of the Cross-Party parliamentary groups on Building Bridges with Israel, Culture, and Scotch Whisky, further serving as Deputy Chair of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit.[19]

Electoral history


House of Commons

Dundee East shown within Scotland
2015 United Kingdom general election: Dundee East[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SNP Stewart Hosie 28,765 59.7 +21.9
Labour Lesley Brennan 9,603 19.9 −13.4
Conservative Bill Bowman 7,206 15.0 −0.3
Liberal Democrats Craig Duncan 1,387 2.9 −7.7
Scottish Green Helen Grayshan 895 1.9 +0.5
CISTA Lesley Parker-Hamilton 225 0.5 N/A
TUSC Carlo Morelli 104 0.2 N/A
Majority 19,162 39.8 +34.3
Turnout 48,185 71.0 +9.0
SNP hold Swing +17.7

Scottish Parliament

Dundee City East shown within the North East Scotland electoral region
2016 Scottish Parliament election: Dundee City East[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SNP Shona Robison 16,509 58.1 −6.2
Labour Richard McCready 5,611 19.7 −3.0
Conservative Bill Bowman 4,969 17.5 +7.6
Liberal Democrats Craig Duncan 911 3.2 +0.1
TUSC Leah Ganley 437 1.5 N/A
Majority 10,898 38.4 −2.9
Turnout 28,437 51.5 +4.1
SNP hold Swing −6.1

References


Citations

  1. "About Bill Bowman MSP". The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  2. "Bill Bowman MSP". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  3. "Personal Information - MSPs". The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  4. "William Archibald Bowman - Personal Appointments". Companies House. Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  5. "Board | United Way Romania" (in Romanian). United Way Romania. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  6. "Bill Bowman" (in Romanian). Wall-street.ro. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  7. "Register of Interests - MSPs". The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  8. McPherson, Gareth (28 September 2018). "Two MSPs in Tayside account for a quarter of all Holyrood politicians' hotel dining expenses". The Courier (Dundee). Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  9. Malik, Paul (24 October 2016). "Former MSP Lesley Brennan to resign as councillor". The Courier (Dundee). Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  10. "Election 2010 - Dundee East". BBC News. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  11. "Dundee East". UK Polling Report. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  12. Dickie, Mure (20 February 2015). "Scottish Tories put brave face on grim polls". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  13. "Dundee City East - Election 2016". BBC News. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  14. "Scottish Election 2016: Meet the Dundee candidates". Dundee Evening Telegraph. 13 April 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  15. Ross, Calum (28 September 2018). "MSPs spent thousands of pounds on hotel meals, taxis and stamps". The Press and Journal (Scotland). Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  16. "New Conservative MSP Bill Bowman takes his oath of allegiance". BBC News. 21 December 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  17. "New MSP: 'I William Archibald Bowman swear allegiance'". BBC News. 21 December 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  18. Hutcheon, Paul (23 April 2017). "New Tory MSP sold £30,000 of tobacco shares days after being sworn in". The Herald (Glasgow). Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  19. "Bill Bowman MSP". The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  20. Kirkaldy, Liam (28 June 2017). "Ruth Davidson unveils reshuffled Scottish Tory shadow cabinet". Holyrood. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  21. "Political Activities - MSPs". The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  22. Glackin, Michael (17 June 2018). "Scots firms pay £200m more in business rates than English counterparts". The Times. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.