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Bill Butler (born 30 March 1956 in Glasgow) is a Scottish Labour Co-operative politician, candidate for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections for Glasgow Anniesland and former MSP. He represented Glasgow Anniesland in the Scottish Parliament until losing his seat in the 2011 election. He had been elected in the by-election following the death of First Minister Donald Dewar. Butler is also a committed member of CND and has voted against the party in matters concerning nuclear weapons.[1]

Bill Butler
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow Anniesland
In office
23 November 2000 – 5 May 2011
Preceded byDonald Dewar
Succeeded byBill Kidd
Majority4,306 (19.3%)
Personal details
Born (1956-03-30) 30 March 1956 (age 63)
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materUniversity of Stirling
OccupationTeacher (English)

A graduate of the University of Stirling and Notre Dame College of Education, he taught at a number of schools in Renfrew District and in Rutherglen from 1980 to 2000. He is married to Patricia Ferguson, a fellow Labour MSP and former Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Reform of damages legislationEdit

In June 2010, Bill Butler launched a Member's Bill in the Scottish Parliament to reform the law on damages for wrongful death,[2] which was successful, being passed by the Parliament on 3 March 2011 with unanimous support,.[3][4] The Bill was based on recommendations from the Scottish Law Commission intended to bring about fairer levels of compensation for victims of wrongful death cases (e.g. industrial accidents and disease) and their loved ones. The reforms will also mean less cases needing to go to court, which in some cases will eliminate the need for details of victims' lives to be the subject of courtroom wrangling and in all cases will mean that compensation will be paid out more speedily.

Parliamentary activityEdit

Previously, Butler has sought backing in the Scottish Parliament for a bill to make Scottish health boards part-elected. His efforts won the backing of the Health Committee and Health Minister at the time, Andy Kerr, agreed to allow the scheme to be piloted.

In August 2008 he declared himself a candidate for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament, but was not elected.

He was selected as a Labour candidate for the Greater Pollok ward in the Glasgow City Council elections in 2012 and topped the poll with 2,462 first preferences.


Bill Butler has been at the forefront of the campaign to tackle sectarianism in Scotland. In June 2009 he persuaded Alex Salmond to bring before the Scottish Parliament a new strategy to tackle sectarianism.[5]

Charity controversyEdit

In early 2009 when politicians' expense claims came under intense public scrutiny, Bill Butler's attempt to claim back a £1 charity donation that a hotel made on his behalf, saying the hotel made the charge without his knowledge, was cited as an egregious example. His claim was rejected by the Scottish Parliament authorities.


External linksEdit