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Ian Murray (Scottish politician)

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Ian Murray (born 10 August 1976) is a British Labour Party politician who has represented Edinburgh South as Member of Parliament since the 2010 general election.[1]

Ian Murray
Official portrait of Ian Murray crop 2.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
11 May 2015 – 26 June 2016
LeaderHarriet Harman (Acting)
Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded byMargaret Curran
Succeeded byDave Anderson
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh South
In office
7 May 2010 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byNigel Griffiths
Succeeded byElection in progress
Majority15,514 (32.4%)
Personal details
Born (1976-08-10) 10 August 1976 (age 43)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh

He served as an Edinburgh City Councillor for Liberton & Gilmerton Ward from 2003 to 2010.[2]

In the 2015–17 Parliament, Murray was the only Labour Party MP representing a Scottish constituency.

Early lifeEdit

Murray was born in Edinburgh, to a cooper father and shop assistant mother in 1976. Brought up in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh, he attended Dumbryden Primary School,[3] then Wester Hailes High School.

Upon completing his secondary school education, Murray read Social Policy and Law at the University of Edinburgh's Academy of Government. He graduated with an honours degree (BA) aged twenty. While studying at university, he had a part-time job in a local fish & chip shop before setting up and running a pizza delivery service.

Professional careerEdit

After graduation, Murray worked for Royal Blind in pensions management, before being head-hunted by an Edinburgh-based internet television station ( during the dot-com boom where he helped to build a new online TV station. Despite his efforts, the company ran out of funding and he was made redundant; he then founded his own event management business (100 mph Events Ltd). Murray also organised a student exchange programme in Nepal to fund school buildings and staff.[4]

In 2003, Murray stood in the council elections for Liberton winning the seat for Labour at the age of 27; he later represented the larger Liberton and Gilmerton ward from 2007 to 2010.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Murray was returned for the seat of Edinburgh South at the 2010 general election. He served on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Select Committee. In 2011, he was appointed to the Official Opposition frontbench.[5]

At the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Murray campaigned in favour of a "No" vote. He claimed to have encountered hostility from independence activists and reported that his office premises had been plastered with pro-independence "Yes" stickers,[6] which were immediately removed.

Murray was re-elected as MP for Edinburgh South at the 2015 general election, with an increased share of the vote and an increased majority. However, due to a surge in popularity for the SNP across Scotland, Murray was the only Labour MP returned for a Scottish constituency.[7]

He was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland on 11 May 2015 by Acting Labour Party Leader Harriet Harman. He was re-appointed to the same role by newly-elected Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015.

Days after the EU referendum, on 26 June 2016, he resigned around the same time as some other members of the Shadow Cabinet, citing a lack of confidence in Corbyn's leadership ability to win a general election.[8][9] He then nominated Owen Smith in his failed leadership challenge against Corbyn. After Corbyn's successful re-election as Labour leader with an increased majority, Murray said he would only return to Corbyn's frontbench if he reinstated Shadow Cabinet elections and stopped using the threat of deselection to enforce loyalty.[10]

Murray has accused Corbyn of being "all over the place" on potential Labour Party co-operation with the SNP.[11] His replacement as Shadow Scottish Secretary Dave Anderson refused to rule out a deal with the SNP at Westminster.[12]

Prior to the 2019 United Kingdom general election, Murray faced the threat of a reselection contest forced by Unite the Union. However, local members voted to refuse to back such a contest so it could not proceed.[13]

Murray is a member of Progress.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

He supports Edinburgh-based football team Hearts and was previously Chair of the Foundation of Hearts, a bid by a fans' group to buy-out the club from administration. He stepped down in May 2015 in order to focus on his parliamentary duties, and was duly replaced by the current Chair, Brian Cormack.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Labour succeeds in Edinburgh South recount seat". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  2. ^ "By-election result - City of Edinburgh Council". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Edinburgh,dumbryden Gardens, Dumbryden Primary School - ScotlandsPlaces". Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Ian Murray". Scottish Labour. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  5. ^ "You Shadow BIS Team". Labour Party. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Ian Murray row over pro-independence stickers". The Scotsman. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  7. ^ Perraudin, Frances (4 June 2015). "Ian Murray: the last Scottish Labour MP standing". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Only Scots Labour MP Ian Murray quits shadow cabinet". BBC News. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  9. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Ian Murray back on Labour frontbench 'if cabinet poll returns'". The Scotsman. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Murray: Corbyn is 'all over the place' on a Labour coalition with SNP". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  12. ^ "New shadow Scottish Secretary refuses to rule out possible coalition with SNP". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Labour MP Ian Murray reselected after union attack". 24 October 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Labour's Ian Murray critical of John McDonnell on Progress". BBC News. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Ian Murray steps down as Foundation chairman". 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Foundation of Hearts Board". Foundation of Hearts. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.

External linksEdit