Patrick Harvie

Patrick Harvie (born 18 March 1973) is a Scottish politician who has served as co-leader of the Scottish Greens[n 1] since 2008. He has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow region since 2003.

Patrick Harvie

Co-Leader of the Scottish Greens[1]
Assumed office
22 September 2008
Preceded byRobin Harper
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
Assumed office
1 May 2003
Scottish Greens Spokesperson for Finance, Economy, Fair Work and Equalities
Assumed office
May 2016
Personal details
Born (1973-03-18) 18 March 1973 (age 48)
Vale of Leven, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Political partyScottish Green
Alma mater
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
WebsiteOfficial website

Background, education and career

Harvie attended Dumbarton Academy between 1984 and 1991. He then studied at Manchester Metropolitan University where he was briefly a member of the Labour party.[2]

From 1997 till his election in 2003, Harvie worked within the Gay Men's Project at the sexual health organisation PHACE West (later PHACE Scotland and now part of the Terrence Higgins Trust) initially as a youth worker and later as Development Worker for the Lanarkshire Health Board area. Although this work was principally concerned with HIV prevention, it also involved Harvie in equality campaigning. He also had a spell as a civil servant, working with the Inland Revenue in Dumbarton. During this period, he was active in the campaign to repeal Section 2A of the Local Government Act, more commonly known as Section 28. This campaign was successful, and Harvie has stated that the experience prompted him to become more actively involved in politics, leading to his joining the Scottish Green Party.[3]

Member of the Scottish Parliament

Harvie was elected as MSP for the Glasgow region at the 2003 Scottish Parliament election. He gained attention both for issues strongly associated with the Greens, such as campaigning against the extension to the M74 motorway in Glasgow, and for more 'mainstream' issues such as opposition to the Identity Cards Bill.

Quickly after becoming an MSP he caused some controversy by proposing civil partnership legislation in the Scottish Parliament. Though this legislation was ultimately handled at Westminster and covered the whole UK, the distinctive Scottish proposals helped to stimulate some public debate north of the border, both on the issue of same-sex relationships and on the process known as a Legislative Consent Motion by which the Scottish Parliament allows Westminster to legislate for the whole UK.

Patrick Harvie MSP campaigning in Dennistoun, Glasgow

Harvie was a member of the Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament throughout the 2003–07 session and served as Scottish Greens Spokesperson for Justice and Communities from 2003 to 2005 and Spokesperson for Justice, Communities, Europe and Constitutional Affairs from 2005 to 2007.[4] Through his work on the Communities Committee, he worked on the Anti-social behaviour Bill, the Charities Bill and the Housing Bill, as well as on issues of homelessness, debt, the planning system and building standards. In 2004 Harvie was given the 'One to Watch' award at the annual Scottish Politician of the Year event. In addition to the Communities portfolio, Harvie covered the Justice portfolio for the Greens, and has been active on a number of civil liberties issues. He has also been convener of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Human Rights, and helped to establish a CPG on Sexual Health.

Following the Green Party's disappointing performance in the 2007 election, Harvie was returned with a reduced share of the vote. The tight parliamentary arithmetic and a constructive relationship with the Scottish National Party led to a Co-operation Agreement between the two parties. Under this, Harvie was elected to be convene the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, an office he held until 2011.[5] He became the male co-convenor of the Scottish Greens on 22 September 2008 after being the only person to stand for the position.[6]

Re-elected in 2016, Harvie joined the Finance and Constitution Committee and became Scottish Greens Spokesperson for Finance, Economy, Fair Work and Equalities.[7][8] After changes to their constitution, Harvie was elected co-leader of Scottish Greens in a 2019 co-leadership election.[9]

Personal life

Harvie is bisexual, and in 2003 became the first openly bisexual Member of the Scottish Parliament.[10] He is an advocate of Open Source and Free Software, and a Linux user. His use of Twitter during an important political dinner drew much media comment.[11]

Harvie is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society,[12] Honorary Vice-President of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and a patron of Parents Enquiry Scotland. He is a board member of the Glasgay! Festival, and a member of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Equality Network, Stonewall (UK), Amnesty International, Humanist Society Scotland, Campaign for Real Ale and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. From 2003 until 2007, Harvie wrote a weekly column in the Scottish edition of the Big Issue.

Harvie was a candidate in the election for Rector of the University of Glasgow in February 2008.[13]


  1. The office was known as co-convenor of the Scottish Greens until 2019.


  1. Co-Convenor (2008–19)
  2. Gordon, Tom (5 April 2015). "Party Leader interviews: Patrick Harvie". The Herald. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  3. Chakelian, Anoosh (15 August 2014). "Leader of the Scottish Greens: "You don't need to like Alex Salmond to vote Yes". New Statesman. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  4. "Previous MSPs: Session 2 (2003–2007): Patrick Harvie MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  5. "Previous MSPs: Session 3 (2007–2011): Patrick Harvie MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  6. "Harvie to become Green co-leader". BBC News. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  7. "Glasgow – Scottish Parliament electoral region – Election 2016". Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  8. "Patrick Harvie MSP". Scottish Green Party. 22 May 2018. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  9. "Scottish Greens to announce new co-leaders". Holyrood Website. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  10. "30 years of Stonewall: The fight for LGBT rights". The Herald. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  11. Maddox, David (18 April 2009). "Harvie: Twitter ye not at my manners". The Scotsman.
  12. "Honorary Associates". National Secular Society. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  13. Rectorial Elections 2008 Results, Glasgow University SRC, February 2008