Claire Baker


Claire Josephine Baker (née Brennan; born 4 March 1971) is a Scottish Labour Party politician, and a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Mid Scotland and Fife since 2007. Baker is Deputy Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee in the Scottish Parliament.

Claire Baker

Baker in 2010
Deputy Convener of the Education and Culture Committee
In office
14 June 2011  21 December 2011
Preceded byKenneth Gibson
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Mid Scotland and Fife
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded byMark Ruskell
Personal details
Born
Claire Josephine Brennan

(1971-03-04) 4 March 1971 (age 49)
Political partyScottish Labour Party
Spouse(s)Richard Baker

Background


Claire Baker was born on 4 March 1971 in Dunfermline to Margaret (née Edgar) and James Brennan.[1] She grown up in Kelty, and attended primary and secondary schools in Fife.[2] She studied for an MA (Hons) in English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh and in 1997 was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow.[1]

In 1998 Baker published a Critical Guide to the Poetry of Sylvia Plath.[1]

In 2004 she married Richard Baker,[1][3] who was formerly a MSP for North East Scotland.[4] The couple have one daughter.[1]

Career


Baker worked in a variety of research and policy posts. This included working as a Research Officer for the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Group from 1999-2002, Research Officer for the trade union Amicus from 2002-2004, and as Research and Information Manager at the Royal College of Nursing, Scotland from 2004-2005. Immediately prior to being elected to the Scottish Parliament, she was Policy Manager for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the umbrella body for charities and community and voluntary organisations in Scotland.[1]

In May 2007 she was elected for the Mid Scotland and Fife region.

In the 2011 election, Baker contested the seat of Mid Fife and Glenrothes but lost to the SNP's Tricia Marwick, who subsequently resigned from the SNP to become the Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer. However, she was successfully returned to the Scottish Parliament as 2nd on Labour's Mid Scotland and Fife regional list.

In the Holyrood election of 2016, Baker unsuccessfully stood in the Kirkcaldy constituency and was defeated by David Torrance of the Scottish National Party, suffering a swing against Labour of 15.8%. She was subsequently returned to the Scottish Parliament as a member for Mid Scotland and Fife on the regional list as Labour's 2nd place candidate.

In 2011 she was Labour's Shadow Minister for Education in the Scottish Parliament[5][6] and the Deputy Convener of the Education and Culture Committee. She later served on the Scottish Labour front bench as spokesperson for Rural Affairs and Environment (2011-2014),[7] Culture, Europe and External Affairs (2014-2015),[8] and Democracy (covering "constitution, Europe, culture and power in society") (2015-2016).[9] Having served as Scottish Labour's spokesperson on Justice, Baker is currently Shadow Secretary for Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs.[10]

References