Annabel Goldie

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Goldie
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
In office
31 October 2005 – 4 November 2011
Deputy Murdo Fraser
Preceded by David McLetchie
Succeeded by Ruth Davidson
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for West of Scotland
Assumed office
6 May 1999
Preceded by Constituency Created
Personal details
Born (1950-02-27) 27 February 1950 (age 69)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Scottish Conservative Party
Alma mater University of Strathclyde
Profession Solicitor
Religion Church of Scotland
Website Blog
Conservative Profile

Annabel MacNicoll Goldie, Baroness Goldie DL (born 27 February 1950) is a British politician who was leader of the Scottish Conservatives between 2005 and 2011.

Previously a solicitor, Goldie was elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the West of Scotland Region at the creation of the body in 1999, and re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. She served as the party's constitutional spokesperson during the 2014 Scottish referendum.

In October 2013, she became a life peer in the House of Lords.[1]

Background and personal life

Goldie was born in Glasgow, Scotland but has lived in nearby Renfrewshire all of her life. Previously living in the countryside between Kilmacolm and Lochwinnoch, she has been a resident of the nearby village of Bishopton for the past forty years.[2] First educated at Kilmacolm Primary School and Greenock Academy, she went on to study at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, graduating with an LL.B in 1971. She was a solicitor and partner with Glasgow law firm Donaldson, Alexander, Russell & Haddow from 1978 to 2006.[3] She is also an Elder in the Church of Scotland and sits on the West of Scotland Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. She is unmarried and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Renfrewshire.[4]

Goldie first stood for election to the House of Commons in the 1992 general election for the West Renfrewshire and Inverclyde constituency, coming second with 32.9% of the vote.[5]

Member of the Scottish Parliament

Goldie was elected to the Scottish Parliament in the 1999 election as an regional member for the West of Scotland electoral region. She has retained this seat in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. She became leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2005 until standing down in 2011.

In addition to her appearance on the regional list ballots, she has also stood as a candidate in the West Renfrewshire constituency for the Scottish Parliament in 1999, 2003 and 2007. While increasing the Conservative share of the vote each time, she has yet to be elected although raised her position from third to second place in 2007 with a reduced Labour majority.

The constituency was abolished for the 2011, with Goldie unsuccessfully contending the new Renfrewshire North and West constituency.

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives

On 31 October 2005, Goldie became acting leader after David McLetchie resigned as leader of the Scottish Conservatives following adverse publicity created by the publishing of details of expenses he claimed for taxi journeys.[6]

Goldie put herself forward as a leadership candidate on 2 November 2005—a joint nomination with Murdo Fraser as her proposed deputy.[7] Their nomination was unopposed and Goldie was appointed leader on 8 November 2005, the first woman to lead the Scottish Conservative Party. In her maiden speech as leader, she promised to act against "disloyalty and disobedience" in the party and in a reference to Margaret Thatcher she said, "I think you may take it matron's handbag will be in hyper-action. There could be worse precedents to follow".[8]

At her first party conference in March 2006, Goldie set out her plans to make the Scottish Conservatives the "principal party of opposition in Scotland". However her second conference as party leader was overshadowed by a leaked memo by David Mundell, the only Scottish Conservative MP in the British House of Commons, and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, in which he criticised Goldie's leadership.[9]

She has won praise for her leadership of the party into the 2007 Scottish Parliament election and personally as a skilled debater and been labelled a "much-liked public figure".[10] From February 2009 onwards, Goldie was given monthly attendance rights to participate in the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet in Westminster.[11]

On 9 May 2011, Goldie stated her intention to resign as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, citing her party's disappointing election result, and she stood down on 4 November following the election of Ruth Davidson as her successor.

House of Lords

On 3 October 2013, Goldie was created a Life Peer taking the title Baroness Goldie, of Bishopton in the County of Renfrewshire.[12]

Career timeline

  • 1978 – January 2006 – Solicitor in the Donaldson, Alexander, Russell & Haddow law firm in Glasgow.
  • 1999 – present – MSP for the West Scotland electoral region.
  • 2005-2011 – Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.
  • 2011 – 2013 – Scottish Conservative spokesman on Culture and Communities.
  • 2013 – present – Scottish Conservative spokesman on the Constitution.


  1. Working Peerages announced
  2. "THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: *** Local Inquiry, I have been appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of State for Scotland at the request of the Boundary Commission to hold this Inquiry, that is all under Section 6 and paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Personal Information MSPs Scottish Parliament". The Scottish Parliament MSPs. The Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 4 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. About Annabel
  5. "Guardian- Annabel Goldie profile". London: Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "McLetchie resigns as Tory leader". BBC News. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Top Tories make deal over leader". BBC News. 2 November 2005. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Matthew Tempest, political correspondent (2005-11-08). "Guardian- "Goldie to lead Scottish Tories"". London: Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. " "Mundell heaps praise on Goldie"". Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Andrew Black (22 May 2008). "'Nag' who won her party's respect". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Galloway Today - "Goldie at shadow cabinet meetings"[dead link]
  12. The London Gazette: no. 60649. p. 19679. 7 October 2013.
  13. Working peerages announced

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
David McLetchie
Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
2005 – 2011
Succeeded by
Ruth Davidson
Preceded by
Jackson Carlaw
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Murdo Fraser