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Alison Emily Thewliss (born 13 September 1982[1]) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician. She was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Central at the May 2015 general election.[2][3]

Alison Thewliss

Official portrait of Alison Thewliss crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Central
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded byAnas Sarwar
Majority2,267 (6.3%)
Personal details
Born (1982-09-13) 13 September 1982 (age 36)
Lanark, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Children1 daughter
1 son
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen

Before being elected to Westminster, Thewliss was a Glasgow City Councillor for the Calton ward, first elected in 2007. During her time as a councillor she served as the SNP's Spokesperson on Land and Environmental Services.[4]


Early life and careerEdit

Thewliss attended Carluke High School and studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen.[5]

Thewliss was inspired to join the SNP at the age of seventeen following the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum. She was too young to vote in the referendum, but carried out an exit poll at a polling station as part of a Modern Studies project, which brought her into contact with representatives from Scottish political parties.[5] Whilst still a student, she became involved in canvassing for the SNP at the 2003 Scottish Parliament election. A few months later, she was employed as a researcher for Bruce McFee MSP.[5] By the time McFee had decided not to seek re-election in 2007, the party was looking for local election candidates. Thewliss agreed to stand at the 2007 Glasgow City Council election and was one of 19 SNP candidates who gained seats from the sitting Labour councillor.[5] She stood down as a councillor after being elected as MP for Glasgow Central at the 2015 general election.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Tax credits and the "rape clause"Edit

Thewliss has campaigned on the issue of the government's revised tax credit policy restricting new claimants to two children from 2017, a policy which was introduced by then chancellor George Osborne in his July 2015 budget. She said shortly afterwards that the budget measure was "incredibly distasteful" as women who had been Raped would need to justify their case when the child was their third.[6] A requirement from April 2017 is for an explanation, tagged a "rape clause", of a woman's "exceptional circumstances" in such cases.[7] Thewliss, who had intervened nine times in the Commons on the issue by January 2016, was among those who launched a poster campaign in Glasgow that month for the government to abandon the proposal.[8]

How women could claim was still unclear the month before the measure was introduced. Via parliamentary questions, Thewliss had found that the training of a "professional third party" was still not arranged. It had been recommended in a 2016 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) consultation document.[7] Her request for an emergency parliamentary debate on the issue was rejected in March 2017.[9] As the policy came into force, she wrote of the women affected and government officials: "Will they accept her word, or will only a criminal conviction do? We don't yet know".[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Alison Thewliss is married to a software developer. The couple had a son in 2010[11] and a daughter in 2013.[12]


  1. ^ Birth certificate of Alison Emily Thewliss, 13 September 1982, Lanark District 4697/68 5690. National Records of Scotland.
  2. ^ "List of Members returned to Parliament at the General Election 2015 Scotland". The Edinburgh Gazette. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Glasgow Central parliamentary constituency – Election 2015". BBC News. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  4. ^ Nutt, Kathleens (16 July 2015). "Meet your new Scottish MPs: #35 Alison Thewliss, Glasgow Central". The National. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Garavelli, Dani (10 December 2016). "Alison Thewliss on juggling politics, children and campaigning". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  6. ^ Brooks, Libby; Mason, Rowena (9 July 2017). "MP challenges child tax credit plan that could require women to prove rape". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Walker, Peter (3 March 2017). "Rape exemption clause for tax credits 'in chaos', says MP Alison Thewliss". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  8. ^ Brooks, Libby (17 January 2016). "SNP MP launches campaign against tax credit 'rape clause'". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Alison Thewliss MP's tax credit 'rape clause' call rejected". BBC News. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  10. ^ Thewliss, Alison (6 April 2017). "No woman should have to prove they were raped to claim child benefit. What is this madness?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Baby joy for councillor Alison, 27". Evening Times. Newsquest. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  12. ^ Fanklin, Grace (19 September 2014). "Great new interest in politics as a result of the referendum". Retrieved 29 May 2015.

External linksEdit