Keith Brown (Scottish politician)

Keith James Brown (born 20 December 1961) is a Scottish politician serving as Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since 2018 and Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans since 2021. He is a former Royal Marines commando and has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) since 2007, first representing the Ochil constituency from 2007 to 2011, then the Clackmannanshire and Dunblane constituency since 2011.

Keith Brown

Official portrait, 2021
Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party
Assumed office
8 June 2018
LeaderNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byAngus Robertson
Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans
Assumed office
20 May 2021
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byHumza Yousaf
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
In office
18 May 2016  26 June 2018
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byJohn Swinney (Economy)
Succeeded byDerek Mackay (Finance, Economy and Fair Work)
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities
In office
21 November 2014  18 May 2016
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byNicola Sturgeon
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister for the Department for Transport
In office
11 December 2010  21 November 2014
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Preceded byStewart Stevenson
Succeeded byDerek Mackay
Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning
In office
12 February 2009  12 December 2010
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Preceded byMaureen Watt
Succeeded byAngela Constance
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane
Ochil (2007–11)
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded byGeorge Reid
Majority6,721
Personal details
Born (1961-12-20) 20 December 1961 (age 59)
Edinburgh, Scotland
NationalityScottish
Political partyScottish National Party
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Dundee
OccupationCommando, Local government official
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Marines
Years of service1980–83
RankMarine
Battles/warsFalklands War

Born in Edinburgh, Brown served in the Falklands War, while serving in the Royal Marines. Upon leaving, he graduated from the University of Dundee and studied abroad in Canada. He was elected to the Clackmannanshire Council, representing Alva, and later became the SNP's group leader. Following the party's win in the 2003 election, Brown served as the Leader of the Council. In the 2007 Scottish election, he was elected to served as the MSP for Ochil. He served as Minister for Schools and Skills from 2009 to 2010 and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure from 2010 to 2011. Brown was re-elected to the Scottish Parliament in the 2011 election, this time representing the newly drawn constituency of Clackmannanshire and Dunblane. He was appointed Minister for Housing and Transport and in 2012 he added Veterans affairs onto his portfolio.

After failing to win SNP Depute leadership in 2014, he was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities from 2014 to 2016 by Nicola Sturgeon. He was re-elected in 2016 and was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, a position he held from 2016 to 2018. In the 2018, Brown was elected Depute (Deputy) Leader of the SNP and left government to focus on his new position. Following the 2021 election, he was re-appointed to the Scottish Cabinet as Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans.