Alasdair Allan

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Alasdair Allan
Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages
Assumed office
7 December 2011
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Himself (as Minister for Learning and Skills)
Minister for Learning and Skills
In office
20 May 2011 – 7 December 2011
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Angela Constance as Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning
Succeeded by Himself (as Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded by Alasdair Morrison
Majority 4,772 (36.6%)
Personal details
Born (1971-05-06) 6 May 1971 (age 51)
Ashkirk, Scotland
Political party Scottish National Party
Alma mater University of Aberdeen, University of Glasgow
Religion Church of Scotland

Alasdair Allan (born 6 May 1971) is the Scottish Government's Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages and Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.


A native of Ashkirk, near Selkirk, Alasdair Allan attended Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities and devoted his time and employment to the Scottish National Party[1] (SNP) in Peterhead, working for Alex Salmond MP, the now former First Minister of Scotland, and he subsequently became assistant to Michael Russell MSP.

Allan was the SNP candidate for Gordon at the 2003 Scottish Parliament election. As National Secretary of the SNP, he was responsible in July 2004 for the expulsion of Campbell Martin MSP from the party after Martin had claimed that there was a case for supporters of independence not voting SNP.[2]

Alasdair Allan was next in line to become a list MSP for North East Scotland when Richard Lochhead resigned to fight the Moray by-election, however he decided instead to devote himself to contesting the Western Isles, a key Labour-SNP marginal seat in the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary election. He relocated to Lewis and resigned his post as SNP National Secretary.[3] This move proved successful, as he was elected with 46.6% of the vote — a 5.4% swing from Labour.

In the 2011 Scottish Parliament General Election Allan again stood for the SNP in the Western Isles and increased his majority, returning to Holyrood with 65.3% of the vote, an increase of 18.7% and a swing of 15.8% from Labour.[4]

He is a speaker and strong supporter of Scottish Gaelic and Lowland Scots and holds a PhD on the latter. He authored the booklet Talking Independence, which sought to answer questions about Scottish independence, ranging from "What will I pay in tax?" to "Will I still be able to visit relatives in England?" and "Will we still get EastEnders?".

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Party political offices
Preceded by
Stewart Hosie
National Secretary of the Scottish National Party
Succeeded by
Duncan Ross
Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Alasdair Morrison
Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Western Isles