Karen Whitefield

Karen Whitefield (born 8 January 1970, Bellshill) is a Scottish Labour politician. She was the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Airdrie and Shotts constituency from 1999 to 2011.

Karen Whitefield
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Airdrie and Shotts
In office
6 May 1999  22 March 2011
Preceded bynew constituency
Succeeded byAlex Neil
Personal details
Born (1970-01-08) 8 January 1970 (age 51)
Bellshill, Scotland
Political partyScottish Labour

Political career

Prior to her election as MSP, she worked as a personal assistant to Rachel Squire MP.

MSP for Airdrie and Shotts: 1999–2011

She was elected as MSP for Airdrie and Shotts at the 1999 Scottish Parliament general election. As an MSP, she chaired the Parliament's Education Committee, where she used her casting vote to reject the student graduate endowment bill, a Scottish National Party (SNP) flagship policy. It had the backing of the Liberal Democrats and SNP members, but not the Labour or Conservative members of the committee.[1] The bill was eventually passed through the Scottish Parliament by a vote of 67 to 61. Whitefield was Scottish Labour's shadow Minister for Children in the Scottish Parliament, and Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Diabetes under Iain Gray. At the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, she lost her seat to the SNP's Alex Neil, one of nine Labour MSPs to lose their constituency seats after holding them since the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999.[2]

Falkirk PPC: 2015

Following the resignation of sitting MP Eric Joyce (and the controversial and flawed 2013 Labour Party Falkirk candidate selection), in a re-run in which all the previous candidates were excluded on 8 December 2013, Whitefield was selected to contest the Falkirk constituency at the 2015 UK general election.[3] In the event, the SNP landslide swept Scotland, including Falkirk, and Whitehead was unsuccessful in being elected.

Labour Leadership 2021 campaign

Following the resignation of Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Whitefield chaired Anas Sarwar's leadership campaign. Sarwar was subsequently voted in as leader of Scottish Labour.[4]

Personal life

After her unseating in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, she subsequently became a campaign officer at USDAW. She is single and lives in the village of Glenmavis - a satellite village of Airdrie.[5]


  1. "MSPs reject graduate charge plan". BBC News. 13 December 2007.
  2. "Scottish election: Labour's 'class of '99' lose to SNP". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  3. "Falkirk Labour: Karen Whitefield chosen after selection row". BBC News. BBC. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  4. "Former MSP to chair Anas Sarwar's Scottish Labour leadership bid". Herald Scotland. Herald Scotland. 22 January 2021.
  5. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/karen-whitefield-93a43268