Michael Crockart

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Michael Crockart
File:Mike Crockart at Birmingham 2011.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh West
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by John Barrett
Succeeded by Michelle Thomson
Personal details
Born (1966-03-19) 19 March 1966 (age 56)
Nationality British

Michael Bruce Crockart[1] (born 19 March 1966) is a Scottish Liberal Democrat politician. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Edinburgh West from 2010 to 2015.

Crockart was the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary of State, but he quit in December 2010 to vote against the rise in tuition fees.

Parliamentary candidate

Crockart was educated at Perth High School and at Edinburgh University where he studied Social Sciences.[2] He worked as a policeman with Lothian and Borders Police for eight years before becoming a systems developer with Standard Life. He first challenged for elected office in 2002 when he came second in a by-election for the Balerno ward of the City of Edinburgh Council, coming second to the Conservatives. He stood for the same ward again the following year, increasing his share of the vote.[3]

Edinburgh North and Leith

In 2005 he stood for the Westminster constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith, coming second to Labour's Mark Lazarowicz and securing a swing of 8.3 per cent from Labour to Lib Dem.[4] In November 2005 he again sought election to the city council, standing in another by-election in Murrayfield, and again came second. In the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections in the smaller Scottish constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith, and again secured a large swing from Labour but still finished in second place.[5]

Edinburgh West

In 2009, John Barrett, the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West announced his retirement, prompting a nomination fight. Crockart stood, as did city council housing leader Paul Edie, former Borders MSP Euan Robson and former Edinburgh Central Scottish Parliament candidate Siobhan Mathers.[6][7] Crockart defeated Edie by 77 votes to 57. He retained the seat for the party in the 2010 general election with an 8.2 per cent majority, despite suffering a large swing to the Labour Party of 11.4.[8]

Member of Parliament

The result from the 2010 election produced a situation whereby no one party had a majority in the House of Commons and so a coalition agreement was drawn up between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. As a result, Crockart, in his first term as an MP, was now sitting on the Government benches as opposed to the opposition ones. Speaking about the agreement, Crockart claimed that this was a "bold and ambitious agreement" that would bring "positive change to Edinburgh".[9] Crockart was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.[10] During the 2015 general election campaign, Crockart criticised the Scottish National Party for issuing campaign letters referring to him as the "retiring MP".[11]

Resignation as PPS

On 9 December 2010, Crockart resigned as Michael Moore's PPS to vote against the government's proposed rise in tuition fees.[12] In his resignation letter, he told party chief whip Alistair Carmichael that the rise in potential student debt will "seriously impact on people's choices". He went on to say, "this is especially true for those students from poorer backgrounds, many of whom have no role models in their schools or families to demonstrate to them the benefits which can accrue from a university education."[12] Crockart had hit the headlines prior to the vote after being the victim of an impersonator who managed to convince show producers on the BBC Radio 4 programme The World at One that he was the Edinburgh West MP. The impersonator told presenter James Robbins, "I will be voting 100 per cent against. I'm not going to be pushed out. Resigning probably will be the only option."[13] The Liberal Democrat press office pointed out the error as the impersonator had an English accent whereas Mike Crockart has a "distinctly Scottish burr".[13] Of the error the BBC said, "The usual pre-broadcast questions were asked of the person concerned, who maintained throughout that he was Mr Crockart and appeared credible....Once the mistake was realised, steps were taken immediately to rectify the error and to ensure it was not repeated."[13]


  1. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 20 May 2010 (pt 0001)". parliament.uk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Mike Crockart". Scottish Lib Dems.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Former policeman Mike Crockart to defend Barrett's Capital seat". Edinburgh Evening News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. BBC "Edinburgh North and Leith" Check |url= value (help). Election Map 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Edinburgh North and Leith". BBC Election Coverage Scottish Parliament 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Candidates to slug it out for safe city seat". Edinburgh Evening News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Capitals poll position". The Scotsman. Edinburgh.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "General Election 2010: Edinburgh West". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Westminster coalition will bring real benefits". Edinburgh Evening News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Biography: Michael Crockart". House of Commons Information Office.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Election Row Heats Up". Edinburgh Evening News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 MacLeod, Michael (9 December 2010). "Edinburgh MP resigns over tuition fees". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "BBC broadcasts interview with MP imposter". The Daily Mail. London. 6 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Barrett
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West
Succeeded by
Michelle Thomson