John Finnie

John Bradford Finnie (born 31 December 1956) is a Scottish Greens politician. He is the Green Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Highlands and Islands region since 2016, having previously sat as a Scottish National Party (SNP) member from 2011 to 2012 then as an independent from 2012 to 2016.

John Finnie

Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Highlands and Islands
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Personal details
Born (1956-12-31) 31 December 1956 (age 63)
Clunes, Lochaber, Scotland
Political partyScottish Greens
Independent (2012–2014)
Scottish National Party (until 2012)
ChildrenRuth Maguire
OccupationPolice officer

He was formerly a police officer and then a councillor.

Early lifeEdit

Finnie was born in Clunes, and was educated at Achnacarry Primary and Lochaber High School.[1]


Finnie became a police officer in 1976[2] and served with the Lothian and Borders Police and then as a uniformed Constable, latterly a Constable Dog Handler within the Northern Constabulary.[3] He was a full-time elected official – Constable Secretary, local branch of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF).[4]

Political careerEdit

Finnie developed political awareness while still at High School and joined the SNP at 16 years old.[2] He first stood as a candidate in a 2006 by-election for a Highland Council seat.[2] In 2007 he was elected to representing the Inverness Ness-side ward on Highland Council.[5] He was SNP group leader and an SNP-Independent administration was formed.[6] In June 2008 the coalition split.[7] In November 2010, Finnie wrote to the Lord Advocate, urging her to reinvestigate the case of Willie McRae, who died in 1985.[8]

Finnie was elected to the Scottish Parliament in the 2011 election.[9] He was parliamentary liaison officer to the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.[4]

Finnie resigned from the SNP on 23 October 2012 over the party's decision to support NATO membership for an independent Scotland,[10] attending Holyrood as an independent member. In November of that year, he denied rumours that he was planning to join the Scottish Socialist Party.[11] Eventually, in October 2014, he joined the Scottish Green Party[12] although continued as an Independent MSP until the end of that session of parliament.[13]

In November 2013, Finnie submitted a Private Member's Bill proposal seeking to abolish the requirement for mandatory involvement of religious representatives on local authorities’ education committees.[14]

In March 2015, the Scottish Greens balloted their members to select candidates for the 2016 election, Finnie was placed top on their Highlands and Islands regional list.[15] He was re-elected in the 2016 election and was joined in the Scottish Parliament by his daughter, Ruth Maguire, who represents Cunninghame South for the SNP.[16]

In November 2016 he was announced as a member of the Commission on Parliamentary Reform, having been nominated to represent the Scottish Greens.[17]

In May 2017, Finnie introduced a Private Member's Bill proposal seeking equal protection from assault for children by prohibiting their physical punishment by parents and others in charge of them. On 5 September 2017, the Scottish Government included support for his proposal in its Programme for Government for 2017–18.[18] The proposed measures became law on 7 November 2019 (Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019).[19]


  1. ^ "MSP views Old Fort makeover project". Lochaber News. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Ross, Calum (28 September 2007). "Ex-cop John now patrols a different beat". The Inverness Courier. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Rebel with a cause". Holyrood. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b Ross, David (12 May 2014). "Highlands row over armed police". The Herald. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Election results 2007". Local Government elections. Highland Council. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  6. ^ "U-turn hope in city care homes sell-off". The Inverness Courier. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Highland Council coalition splits". BBC News. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  8. ^ Munro, Alistair (2 November 2010). "Reopen case of Willie McRae, Scotland's David Kelly, after 25 years, Lord Advocate is urged". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Previous MSPs: Session 4: Finnie, John". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  10. ^ "MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urquhart quit SNP over Nato policy". BBC News. BBC. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  11. ^ "No SSP move for Finnie". The Herald. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Former SNP MSP John Finnie defects to Greens". BBC News. BBC. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Why I've joined the Scottish Greens". Blog. John Finnie MSP. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  14. ^ Munro, Alastair (5 November 2013). "Bid to remove religious voice from education". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Scottish Greens regional list candidates". Holyrood. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  16. ^ Gordon, Tom (8 May 2016). "Father and daughter to be MSPs across the aisle". The Herald. Herald and Times Group. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Presiding Officer names Parliament reform commission members". The Journal. Law Society of Scotland. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Programme for Government 2017-18". Scottish Government. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 June 2020.

External linksEdit