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David Gordon Mundell, WS (born 27 May 1962) is a British Conservative Party politician and solicitor. He was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland in 2015,[1] and was the first openly gay Conservative MP to hold a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.[2] He has served as the Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in Scotland since 2005.


David Mundell

Official portrait of David Mundell crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
11 May 2015 – 24 July 2019
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded byAlistair Carmichael
Succeeded byAlister Jack
Minister of State for Scotland
In office
11 May 2010 – 11 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byAnn McKechin
Succeeded byThe Lord Dunlop
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
7 December 2005 – 11 May 2010
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byEleanor Laing
Succeeded byJim Murphy
Member of Parliament
for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byConstituency established
Majority9,441 (19.3%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South of Scotland
In office
6 May 1999 – 5 May 2005
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byDerek Brownlee
Personal details
Born
David Gordon Mundell

(1962-05-27) 27 May 1962 (age 57)
Dumfries, Scotland
Political party
Spouse(s)Lynda Carmichael (m.1987–2012) (divorced)
Children3, including Oliver Mundell
Alma mater
Websitedavidmundell.com

He was first elected as the MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in 2005 and served as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland from 2005–10 and Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010–15.[3] He served in the Cabinet as Scotland Secretary from 2015 until 2019; the first Conservative to hold the position since Michael Forsyth in 1997.

BackgroundEdit

Born in Dumfries, Mundell grew up in Newton Wamphray and Lockerbie. He attended Lockerbie Academy before reading Law at the University of Edinburgh (MA), also gaining a Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip LP).[4] After further studies, he graduated from Strathclyde Business School as MBA.

Having become a Young Conservative aged 14, he switched to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) while at university in 1981. In 2002, he stated: "the first Thatcher Government did get a bit bogged down and it wasn't really the radical government that subsequently emerged,... And the fact that you had a completely new opportunity to wipe the slate clean, with no baggage, was a very attractive thing".[5]

He practised as a solicitor before joining BT as Group Legal Advisor for Scotland in 1991. He became BT Scotland's Head of National Affairs, remaining with BT until being elected as an MSP. Mundell served as an SDP Councillor for Annandale and Eskdale from 1984–86 and then for Dumfries and Galloway until 1987, while a postgraduate student.

Mundell is a member of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet (WS) and of the Law Society of Scotland.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Scottish ParliamentEdit

Mundell was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003 as a "list" MSP for the South of Scotland.

House of CommonsEdit

In the 2005 general election, Mundell was elected as MP for the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency.[6] Following his election to Westminster, Mundell resigned from the Scottish Parliament in June 2005. His seat was taken by Derek Brownlee, who was next on the Conservatives' South of Scotland candidate list.[7] As the sole Conservative Scottish parliamentary representative, David Cameron (as Leader of HM Opposition) appointed him Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in December 2005.

Mundell was among the 18 MPs (either Scottish or representing Scottish constituencies) who supported the Commons Motion stating football "should not be any different from other competing sports and our young talent should be allowed to show their skills on the world stage", thereby endorsing the idea of Team GB entering a British football team in the London 2012 Olympics. Football's governing bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland oppose a Great Britain team, fearing it would stop them competing as individual nations in future tournaments.[8]

Mundell represented the Scottish Conservative Party at the three Scottish Leaders' Debates broadcast on ITV1, Sky News and BBC1 during the 2010 general election campaign.

Government ministerEdit

Before the 2010 general election, Mundell served as the Conservative Shadow Scottish Secretary. Following that election, the Conservative Party formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. He held the non-cabinet role of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, since the office of Secretary of State for Scotland was given to Liberal Democrat MP Danny Alexander (then Michael Moore and Alistair Carmichael), in view of the Liberal Democrats' greater representation of Scottish seats. On 9 June 2010, Mundell was appointed a Privy Counsellor.[9][10]

Mundell was returned to Parliament at the 2015 general election with a much reduced majority of 798 votes (1.5%), although the Conservative Party's share of the vote increased by 1.8%.[11] He succeeded Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael as Secretary of State for Scotland, and became a part-time member of the cabinet committee working on strategies for Brexit.[12] He was the only Conservative MP to represent a Scottish constituency in the 56th parliament (2015–2017), but was joined by a further twelve in the 2017 snap general election. Following the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, Mundell was sacked from his role and went to the backbenches for the first time since he was elected as an MP.

Constituency issuesEdit

In 2015, Mundell opened a food bank in the Dumfries and Galloway constituency, which adjoins his own and was at the time represented by the Scottish National Party's Richard Arkless. After the opening, Mundell was escorted from an angry anti-austerity demonstration by police.[13] Mundell, who had previously denied that welfare reform changes were behind the increased demand for food banks, was accused of hypocrisy by opponents who said the opening was "nothing to celebrate". Mundell said he was willing to work with all local organisations who wanted to eradicate poverty.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

On 13 January 2016, Mundell publicly came out as gay on his personal website; he is believed to be the first openly gay Conservative cabinet minister.[14][2] His nickname is 'Fluffy'.[15]

He was previously married to Lynda Carmichael but the couple have divorced. He has three children, one of whom, Oliver Mundell, is the Conservative MSP for Dumfriesshire having won the seat in the Scottish Parliament in May 2016.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Election 2015: David Mundell named new secretary of state for Scotland". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Scottish secretary David Mundell comes out as gay". BBC News. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  3. ^ "www.parliament.uk". Archived from the original on 11 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Diploma in Legal Practice – Professional Legal Studies – Postgraduate Studies". www.scottishlaw.org.uk.
  5. ^ "David Torrance: Mutual respect is crucial as Tories bid to govern Scotland". scotsman.com.
  6. ^ "BBC NEWS – UK – UK Election 2005 – Scotland – Conservatives hail lone success". bbc.co.uk. 6 May 2005.
  7. ^ "BBC NEWS – UK – Scotland – Tory MSP takes place in chamber". bbc.co.uk. 22 June 2005.
  8. ^ "GB football tops Olympic agenda". BBC. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Privy Council appointments, 9 June 2010". Privy Council. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  11. ^ Haswell, Alex (8 May 2015). "UK Parliamentary Elections Results 2015 for the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and". dumgal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  12. ^ Settle, Michael (15 October 2016). "May accused of treating Scotland with contempt as Mundell given part-time role on key Brexit committee". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  13. ^ "David Mundell opens Dumfries foodbank amid protests". 24 July 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  14. ^ a b David Mundell (13 January 2016). "New Year, New Start". Davidmundell.com. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Profile: David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland – BBC News". BBC Online. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  16. ^ Johnson, Simon; Dominiczak, Peter; Wilkinson, Michael (13 January 2016). "Cabinet minister David Mundell comes out as gay". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 January 2016.

External linksEdit

Scottish Parliament
New constituency Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South of Scotland

1999–2005
Succeeded by
Derek Brownlee
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Eleanor Laing
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
2005–2010
Succeeded by
Jim Murphy
Preceded by
Ann McKechin
Under Secretary of State for Scotland
2010–2015
Succeeded by
The Lord Dunlop
Preceded by
Alistair Carmichael
Secretary of State for Scotland
2015–2019
Succeeded by
Alister Jack