Finlay Carson

Finlay Hamilton Carson (born 18 October 1967) is a Scottish Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Galloway and West Dumfries constituency since 2016.[1]

Finlay Carson

Carson in 2016
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Galloway and West Dumfries
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byAlex Fergusson
Majority1,514 (4.5%)
Personal details
Finlay Hamilton Carson

(1967-10-18) 18 October 1967 (age 52)
Twynholm, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Political partyScottish Conservative Party
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen

Early life and education

Carson was born in Twynholm on 18 October 1967.[2] He attended Twynholm Primary School and later Kirkcudbright Academy. Carson then went to study at the University of Aberdeen where he graduated with a BSc Agriculture. Carson and his brother ran an IT business together. Carson lives with partner Jackie and has 3 children, Hugh, Vicky and Rowan.

Political career

Carson, from 2012, was a councillor for Castle Douglas and Glenkens. He succeeded Peter Duncan who was the former MP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale.[3]

In 2015 he stood for the UK Parliament as the Conservative candidate for the Dumfries and Galloway constituency where he was unsuccessful and came second to the SNP's Richard Arkless by 11.5% of the vote.[4]

In 2016 he stood for the Scottish Parliament in Galloway and West Dumfries, in place of the retiring Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson.[2] He successfully held the seat for the Conservatives and had a majority of 1,514 votes (4.5%) over his SNP rival Aileen McLeod with a swing of 0.8% from the SNP to the Conservatives.[5]

Carson is the Scottish Conservative spokesperson for Digital Economy, Animal Welfare and Biodiversity.[6] He also sits on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament[7]

In October 2017, Carson caused controversy after it emerged he hired his own IT firm to design his website and claimed the costs back on parliamentary expenses. He claimed £1,200 in March for the web design work carried out by CMS Broadband. Holyrood's expenses rules state that "a member shall ensure that any claim is submitted solely in respect of the performance of parliamentary duties and is not submitted in order to gain financial or other benefit for the member or any other person".[8]


  1. "Election 2016: Galloway and West Dumfries. Scottish Parliament region". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  2. "Finlay Carson launches Holyrood campaign". 29 March 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. "Member and Committee Information". Dumfries and Galloway Council. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  4. "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  5. "Galloway and West Dumfries result". BBC News. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  6. "Scottish Conservative appointments for new parliamentary term". Scottish Conservative Party. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  7. "Membership". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  8. "Tory MSP under fire after paying his own firm from public cash". The Scotsman. 17 October 2017.
Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Alex Fergusson
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Galloway and West Dumfries