David Jackson Carlaw Scottish Conservative Party politician serving as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party since 2020. He has served as Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Eastwood since 2016.(born 12 April 1959) is a
Carlaw in 2016
|Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party|
|Assumed office |
14 February 2020
Acting: 29 August 2019 – 14 February 2020
|Preceded by||Ruth Davidson|
15 September 2018 – 3 May 2019
|Preceded by||Ruth Davidson|
|Succeeded by||Ruth Davidson|
|Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party|
10 November 2011 – 3 September 2019
|Preceded by||Murdo Fraser|
|Succeeded by||Liam Kerr|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament |
|Assumed office |
5 May 2016
|Preceded by||Ken Macintosh|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament |
for West Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
3 May 2007 – 5 May 2016
David Jackson Carlaw
12 April 1959
Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, Scotland
|Political party||Scottish Conservative Party|
|Alma mater||The Glasgow Academy|
Carlaw previously served as the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, and served as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party under Ruth Davidson from 2011 to 2019. In this capacity, he served as Acting Leader from September 2018 to May 2019 during Davidson’s maternity leave and from August 2019 to February 2020 following Davidson’s resignation as leader.
Early life and career
Carlaw was brought up in Crookfur, Newton Mearns and was educated at The Glasgow Academy. He worked for 25 years as a car salesman and was joint head of FirstFord car dealership in the west of Scotland until it was placed into receivership in November 2002. He was also a director of Wylies (Automotive Services) until it went into administration in February 2003.
Carlaw joined the East Renfrewshire Conservatives in 1978. He was the Conservative candidate in the 1982 Queen's Park by-election, and in the 1983 general election in Pollok. He was Chairman of the Scottish Young Conservatives from 1984 to 1986, Chairman of Eastwood Conservatives from 1988 to 1992, and was Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives from 1992 to 1998. He was reappointed Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives in 2005.
In the run-up to the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum Carlaw campaigned against the formation of a devolved Scottish Parliament alongside the Scottish Conservatives and the Think Twice campaign, advocating a No vote for both the question of the parliament's formation and whether the parliament should be granted tax-varying powers.
Carlaw was unsuccessful as a candidate for Eastwood in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. He was however elected on the party list under Scotland's additional member system in 2007 and 2011 representing the West of Scotland region. In 2016 he became the MSP for Eastwood after defeating the incumbent Ken Macintosh. He sits on the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament.
In 2011, Carlaw stood as a candidate in the leadership election brought on by Annabel Goldie's resignation. During the campaign, he was hospitalised with appendicitis. Carlaw finished third behind Ruth Davidson and Murdo Fraser. He was appointed as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservatives by Ruth Davidson in 2011, and had been Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport for almost nine years. He was re-appointed as of 28 June 2017 as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Europe and External Affairs.
In September 2016, he was elected Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Building Bridges with Israel, the establishment of which he pledged to help in his 2016 election campaign. In February 2017, Carlaw was appointed Deputy Convener of the Cross Party Group on End-of-life Choices.
Carlaw supported remain during the 2016 EU referendum and attacked Boris Johnson. Since the referendum result, he has supported both Brexit and Johnson, including in his role as interim Scottish Conservative leader.
Following an attempt in March 2017 by the SNP to hold a second Scottish independence referendum, Carlaw spoke against the attempt, describing it as "pointless" and unwanted". He pledged the Scottish Conservatives would not allow for a further referendum until the Scottish public showed clear support.
Carlaw opposed the SNP's changes to council tax in November 2016, believing the proposed changes would effectively put over 50% of property in East Renfrewshire in the top two council tax bands. Commenting against the decision, he maintained "the rise would unfairly hit working families and the elderly" and "will hit Eastwood residents hard".
Carlaw dismissed the initial stages of the June 2018 bill to reform local council planning by the SNP as a "power grab". The proposed legislation, which provisioned for the monitoring and training of local councillors in relation to planning, was argued as containing "too much centralisation" and was opposed by Carlaw in a parliamentary debate, in which he claimed the added power such a bill would give Holyrood would be "a dangerous trend to set".
Carlaw opposed the sale and privatisation of the only public residential care home in East Renfrewshire in December 2016. He described it as a "betrayal" to the families and residents within his constituency who relied on the care home by a council "unwilling to properly look at any options other than privatisation".
In a press release reacting to proposed changes to parking regulations by the Eastwood council in November 2016, Carlaw spoke in favour of protecting local businesses from the potentially negative effects of the changes, suggesting several amendments to ensure the changes were "substantially rethought to protect local businesses".
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
Carlaw served as acting leader of the Scottish Conservatives while leader Ruth Davidson was on maternity leave from September 2018 until May 2019. Following her resignation in August 2019, he was appointed to serve a second term. He was the incumbent when Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the 2019 general election, in which the party lost seven of their 13 seats from 2017.
On 6 January 2020, Carlaw confirmed his candidacy for the 2020 Scottish Conservative Party leadership election and launched his campaign in Edinburgh on 15 January. He received support from Ruth Davidson, Murdo Fraser, Adam Tomkins, Liz Smith, Annie Wells and Jamie Greene. This gave Carlaw the position of favourite over his opponent Michelle Ballantyne. He centred his campaign around how he could beat Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in the next Scottish Parliament election and the local elections in 2022. He also promised to make the Scottish Conservatives more for the middle and working classes and continue to maintain the Scottish Conservatives as the main party of the Union. Carlaw won the election with 4,917 votes in his favour, as opposed to 1,581 for Ballantyne. He promised to provide a "clear, focused and ambitious alternative to the SNP".
In June 2020, the Scottish Greens accused Carlaw of claiming an "outright falsehood" in a debate over Holyrood's reopening.
After facing a revolt from furious party figures, Jackson Carlaw dismissed his support for under-fire Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings. He initially supported the position of Boris Johnson to stick by the political adviser but caved to criticism from furious leaders of the Scottish party.
Carlaw lives in Giffnock. He is married and has two sons.
- Kristy Dorsey (2 November 2002). "Receivers at Firstford as takeover talks fail". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Mystery of lost paintings at collapsed firm Carlaw was director of car hire company". Herald Scotland. 10 October 2003. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Tory who told racist jokes appointed deputy chairman of Scottish Tories, Paul Hutcheon, The Sunday Herald. 12 June 2005
- Guida, Victoria. "Scottish Tories expect election revival – POLITICO". Politico.eu. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
- "Membership - European and External Relations Committee". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "BBC News - Tory leadership contender Jackson Carlaw is taken ill". Bbc.co.uk. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Andrew Black (4 November 2011). "BBC News - Ruth Davidson elected new Scottish Conservative leader". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "BBC News - New leader Ruth Davidson announces front bench team". Bbc.co.uk. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Green, Chris (2 December 2019). "Scottish Tory leader u-turns on Brexit and says he'd now campaign for Leave". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- Johnson, Simon; Hughes, Laura (21 March 2017). "Nicola Sturgeon warned Scots are 'sick to death' of her second referendum demands". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
- "SNP Council Tax will hit Eastwood Hard". Jackson Carlaw. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- "Interview: Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw on filling Ruth Davidson's shoes". HeraldScotland.
- Gilman, Laura (26 October 2018). "Political Activities". www.parliament.scot.
- "Results of the 2019 General Election in Scotland". BBC News. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Carlaw, Jackson (5 January 2020). "Scottish Conservatives must build on our progress and offer alternatives". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
- Johnson, Simon (11 December 2019). "Ruth Davidson endorses Jackson Carlaw for Scottish Tory leadership". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- Fraser, Murdo (5 January 2020). "Good piece by @Jackson_Carlaw - he's the right person to take @ScotTories forward as we focus on the 2021 Holyrood election". @murdo_fraser. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- MSP, Adam Tomkins (6 January 2020). "Delighted that my friend @Jackson_Carlaw has formally announced he's running to lead the @ScotTories. He's got my vote! #TeamJackson". @ProfTomkins. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- Smith, Liz (5 January 2020). "Good piece by @Jackson_Carlaw who has my full support in leadership election.pic.twitter.com/IBdCXJhPrG". @MspLiz. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- "Scottish Tory leadership contenders set to face off in two-horse race". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- "Scottish Conservatives: Jackson Carlaw succeeds Ruth Davidson as leader". BBC News. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- "Jackson Carlaw elected leader of Scottish Conservatives". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Learmonth, Andrew (1 June 2020). "Jackson Carlaw accused of 'outright lie' in parliament row". The National. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- Philip, Andy (26 May 2020). "Scots Tory leader Jackson Carlaw U-turns in call for Dominic Cummings to 'consider his position'". Daily Record. Retrieved 1 June 2020.