Gordon Lindhurst

Gordon John Lindhurst is a Scottish Conservative politician and non-practising advocate. He served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Lothian region from 2016 to 2021.

Gordon Lindhurst
Gordon Lindhurst MSP.jpg
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Lothian
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
5 May 2016 – 8 May 2021
Personal details
Political partyScottish Conservatives
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
Heidelberg University


Lindhurst studied at the University of Edinburgh where he completed his first degree, an LLB (Honours). At Glasgow University he studied the vocational Diploma in Legal Practice before completing his legal training to become a solicitor with the Edinburgh law firm, Warden Bruce & Co. WS. Following qualification, Lindhurst studied for and was awarded a master's degree in European law at Heidelberg University in Germany, and is fluent in German. Thereafter calling to the Scottish Bar, he practised full time as an advocate until entering the Scottish Parliament. He supports a number of local Edinburgh charities and has also worked in central Romania with a charity providing education and support for disadvantaged children.

He lives in south-west Edinburgh.

Political careerEdit

Lindhurst was the Conservative candidate for Linlithgow in the 1999 and 2003 Scottish Parliament elections. He also stood in the 2001 general election in Linlithgow. In the 2015 United Kingdom general election he stood as a candidate in Edinburgh South West.[1]

In the 2016 Scottish Parliament election he stood for the Edinburgh Pentlands constituency, finishing in second place, but successfully increasing the Scottish Conservative vote share.[2] Having missed out in the constituency section, he was instead elected for the Lothian regional list.[3]

Lindhurst was appointed the Scottish Conservative spokesperson for legal affairs following the 2016 election.[4]

He was also appointed Convenor of the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee.[5][6] Notably, the Committee’s work has included the only Committee Bill of this session, The Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Bill, which completed stage 2 in the Scottish Parliament on 27 January 2021. The purpose of the Bill is to remove the right of Scottish Government Ministers to access certain types of data prior to publication, bringing it into line with accepted best practice.

On Jackson Carlaw’s election as party leader in February 2020, on reshuffle Lindhurst was appointed as the Shadow Minister for Business, Infrastructure and Transport. Under Douglas Ross, Lindhurst serves as Shadow Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.[7] He has also served as a member of the Social Security Committee, the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, and the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament.[8]

Policy positionsEdit

Lindhurst endorsed Brexit in advance of the 2016 referendum.[9] On this decision, Lindhurst described himself as a "reluctant leaver", saying in December 2016: "As a former student of European law at the ancient German university of Heidelberg, I was a reluctant leaver. Amongst many many factors, the decider for me was the clear unwillingness to seriously consider sensible reform of the EU's antiquated setup."[10]

Lindhurst also took a leading role in opposition to the Scottish Government's Hate Crime Bill. Appearing on BBC Scotland in September 2020, he said the Bill as originally drafted:

provides for censorship, or the possibility of state censorship of what is said in theatres, in public places or indeed just possession of materials and the definition of 'it is likely to cause offence. I have so many constituents writing to me from all sides of the spectrum, all political persuasions and religious persuasions, or the National Secular Society who are against this because they are very concerned about the consequences for freedom of speech in Scotland.[11]

In 2019, Lindhurst also opposed a Scottish Government bill criminalising parents for disciplining their children. In a piece in Scottish Legal News Lindhurst, having himself prosecuted cases against parents under the existing law, argued that the proposed legislation failed to provide the protections guaranteed in other European countries and thus he argued "leaving parents open to unlimited penalties and convictions"; Lindhurst referred to the bill as being “a backwards step with a medieval solution” and being “completely at odds with international best practice” in reference to the lack of any time limit on prosecutions.[12][13]

Since being elected Lindhurst has also positioned himself as a leading advocate of heritage, conservation and a sensitive pragmatic approach to development in the City of Edinburgh and the Lothians. He was at the forefront in numerous campaigns including securing signage for the Korean War Memorial in the Bathgate Hills, and has held the government to account on issues surrounding the impact on the city of over-tourism.[14]

2021 electionEdit

Lindhurst was the candidate for Edinburgh Pentlands in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election,[15] but lost out to SNP candidate Gordon MacDonald.[16]

Electoral historyEdit

Lindhurst was the Conservative candidate for Linlithgow in the 1999 and 2003 Scottish Parliament elections, where he was not elected having finished third both times. He also stood in the 2001 general election in Linlithgow finishing third. Lindhurst contested the 2005 Livingston by-election, where he came fourth. In the 2015 United Kingdom general election he stood as a candidate in Edinburgh South West where he finished third, failing to be elected.[1] In 2016, Lindhurst stood as Scottish Conservative candidate in Edinburgh Pentlands, where he finished second to the SNP candidate Gordon Macdonald, but successfully increased the Scottish Conservative vote share.[17]

Election Constituency Vote No. Vote % Elected Candidate Position
1999 Scottish Election Linlithgow 3,158 9.35 Mary Mulligan (LAB) 3rd
2001 General Election Linlithgow 2,836 9.0 Tam Dalyell (LAB) 3rd
2003 Scottish Election Linlithgow 3,059 11.07 Mary Mulligan (LAB) 3rd
2005 Livingston by-election Livingston 1,993 6.8 Jim Devine (LAB) 4th
2007 Scottish Election Edinburgh West 7,361 21.2 Margaret Smith (LIB DEM) 3rd
2011 Scottish Election Edinburgh Western 5,047 15.1 Colin Keir (SNP) 4th
2015 General Election Edinburgh South West 10,444 20.2 Joanna Cherry (SNP) 3rd
2016 Scottish Election Edinburgh Pentlands 10,725 32.2 Gordon MacDonald (SNP) 2nd
2016 Scottish Election Edinburgh Pentlands 16,227 32.3 Gordon MacDonald (SNP) 2nd


  1. ^ a b "Election 2015: Edinburgh South West. Parliamentary constituency". 8 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Edinburgh Pentlands". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Election 2016: Lothian. Scottish Parliament region". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Scottish Conservative appointments for new parliamentary term". Scottish Conservative Party. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Membership". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Gordon Lindhurst MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  7. ^ "MSPs". Scottish Conservatives. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  8. ^ "member details". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  9. ^ "BBC". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  10. ^ Lindhurst, Gordon. "Gordon Lindhurst: Brexit and the silent voter". Scottish Legal News. Scottish Legal News. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Lindhurst condemns Hate Crime Bill as a threat to free speech". Gordon Lindhurst.
  12. ^ "Scottish Legal News". Scottish Legal. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Scotsman". Scotsman Newspaper. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Gordon Lindhurst: Let's remember the '˜forgotten' Korean War". www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com.
  15. ^ Swanson, Ian. "Tories choose candidate for Edinburgh Pentlands". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  16. ^ Stephen, Phyllis (9 May 2021). "#SPE21RESULT Edinburgh Pentlands – Gordon Macdonald returned for third term". The Edinburgh Reporter. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Edinburgh Pentlands". BBC News.

External linksEdit