John McFall, Baron McFall of Alcluith

John Francis McFall, Baron McFall of Alcluith, PC (born 4 October 1944) is a British politician, now the Lord Speaker having previously been Senior Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords from 1 September 2016 to 30 April 2021. He was previously a Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010, first for Dumbarton and then from 2005 for West Dunbartonshire. He also served as Chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

The Lord McFall of Alcluith
Lord John McFall 3x4, 2022.jpg
Official portrait, 2022
Lord Speaker of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom
Assumed office
1 May 2021
MonarchsElizabeth II
Charles III
DeputyThe Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Preceded byThe Lord Fowler
Senior Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords
In office
1 September 2016 – 30 April 2021
Lord SpeakerThe Lord Fowler
Preceded byThe Lord Laming (as Chairman of Committees)
Succeeded byThe Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee
In office
18 July 2001 – 6 May 2010
Preceded byGiles Radice
Succeeded byAndrew Tyrie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
28 July 1998 – 2 December 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byTony Worthington
Succeeded byVacant
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
8 May 1997 – 28 July 1998
Prime MinisterTony Blair
ChancellorGordon Brown
Preceded byBowen Wells
Succeeded byJane Kennedy
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
6 July 2010
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for West Dunbartonshire
Dumbarton (1987–2005)
In office
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byIan Campbell
Succeeded byGemma Doyle
Personal details
Born (1944-10-04) 4 October 1944 (age 78)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political partyNon-affiliated
Other political
Labour Co-op (until 2016)
Alma mater
WebsiteOfficial website

In 2021, McFall was elected as Lord Speaker to replace Lord Fowler.[1]

Early lifeEdit

McFall went to a boys' school, St Patrick's Secondary School (since merged with Notre Dame High School to form Our Lady & St Patrick's High School), on Hawthornhill Road in Castlehill, Dumbarton, leaving without any qualifications at 15. His father was a school caretaker and his mother had a newsagents shop, which sparked his (later) interest in how to run businesses. He worked for the local Parks Department in Dumbarton and then in a factory.

At the age of 24, he studied at Paisley College of Technology (now the University of the West of Scotland) receiving a BSc in Chemistry. In 1977, he wanted to widen his knowledge away from science and obtained a BA from the Open University in Education and Philosophy. He was a chemistry and maths teacher from 1974–1987 in Dumbarton, Kirkintilloch and Glasgow, becoming a deputy-head in Glasgow and Secretary of his Constituency Labour Party before he entered Parliament. Whilst a teacher he completed a part-time course over three years at the University of Strathclyde for an MBA. In 1994, he became a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University Business School, and now is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board at the University of Glasgow Business School. He is a member of the GMB Union.

Political careerEdit

He was first elected for the Dumbarton constituency, Scotland, at the 1987 general election, after the previous MP, Ian Campbell retired. His original majority was a little over 2,000. Dumbarton constituency was replaced with the new West Dunbartonshire constituency for the 2005 general election, which McFall won with a majority over 12,500.

In 1995 he introduced a private member's bill, the Wild Mammals (Protection) Bill which, although unsuccessful, informed the Hunting Act 2004 outlawing the hunting of mammals by dogs in England and Wales.[2]

He was a whip and junior minister (for Education, Training and Employment, Health and Community Relations, then in 1999 for Economy and Education) at the Northern Ireland Office from 1998–99.

In 2001 he was appointed Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, and reappointed for a second term in this position in 2005. The committee conducted inquiries into the banking crisis, producing evidence of the bonus culture, the lack of banking qualifications among many top bankers and poor oversight of the industry by the Financial Services Authority.

On 29 January 2010, McFall announced his intention to stand down as an MP at the 2010 general election.[3]

On 17 June 2010, he was created a life peer as Baron McFall of Alcluith, of Dumbarton in the County of Dunbartonshire,[4] and was introduced in the House of Lords on 6 July 2010.[5]

He is currently the Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development (Apgood).[6]

In July 2016, he was appointed as Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords with effect from 1 September 2016. He was known as Senior Deputy Speaker while holding the office.[7]

In April 2021, he was elected as Lord Speaker succeeding Lord Fowler.[8]

Other activitiesEdit

He is Chair of the Scotch Whisky and Spirits All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and of the Royal Navy APPG.

He was Chairman of Strathleven Regeneration Company and of Clydebank re-built, two development companies based in his constituency.

He gave his backing to Dumpster Kids, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at rescuing abandoned children, in January 2011.

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Joan, a former teacher from Dumbarton, with four children.


  • Workplace Retirement Income Commission, Building a Strong, Stable and Transparent Pension System: Final Report (August 2011)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Who is the new man in charge of the House of Lords?". BBC News. 21 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Timeline: Hunting row". BBC News. 17 February 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  3. ^ "'Consumer champion' MP to stand down". BBC News. 29 January 2010.
  4. ^ "No. 59466". The London Gazette. 22 June 2010. p. 11706.
  5. ^ House of Lords Business, 22 June 2010
  6. ^ "Executive - All Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development". Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  7. ^ House of Lords Minutes of Proceedings of Thursday 21 July 2016
  8. ^ "Lord McFall of Alcluith is next Lord Speaker". UK Parliament. 21 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.

External linksEdit

News items

Video clips

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Dumbarton
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Dunbartonshire
Succeeded by
Preceded byas Chairman of Committees Senior Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Speaker
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded byas Speaker of the House of Commons Gentlemen
as Lord Speaker
Succeeded byas President of the Supreme Court