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Kenneth Gibson (Scottish politician)

Kenneth James Gibson (born 8 September 1961 in Paisley) is a Scottish National Party politician and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Cunninghame North.

Kenneth Gibson

Convener of the Scottish Parliament
Finance Committee
Assumed office
15 June 2011
Preceded byAndrew Welsh
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Cunninghame North
Assumed office
3 May 2007
Preceded byAllan Wilson
Majority6117 (20.7%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
In office
6 May 1999 – 31 March 2003
Personal details
Born (1961-09-08) 8 September 1961 (age 58)
Paisley, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Spouse(s)Patricia Gibson MP
Alma materUniversity of Stirling


Gibson served as an SNP councillor in Glasgow for Mosspark from 1992 to 1999, becoming the first ever SNP councillor in the city to serve successive terms. In his second term he secured the biggest majority of Scotland's 1,245 councillors. He was then the sole SNP councillor in Glasgow. Following the defection of three Labour councillors and a by-election win, Kenneth became Leader of the Opposition on Glasgow City Council from January 1998 until being replaced on Glasgow City Council by his mother Iris in the election of 1999.

Within the SNP, Gibson was a Shadow Cabinet front bencher from 1997 to 2003. As SNP Local Government Convenor from 1997 to 1999, Gibson was responsible for writing and producing the SNP manifesto and co-ordinating the parties campaign for the 1999 local government elections.

Gibson was first elected to the Scottish Parliament at the 1999 Scottish Parliament election as a list member for Glasgow electoral region.[1] In Parliament he served on many cross party group, and raised many issues for the first time, such as Scotland's population decline, lack of Olympic representation, and high levels of suicide. Gibson instigated work on a Regulation of Smoking Bill, however no bill was ever produced during Gibson's time at Holyrood but in 2004, the Scottish Executive were forced to concede support for a smoking ban which was implemented in 2006.

Despite the above efforts, Gibson failed to win re-election in 2003.

In 2004, Gibson was 3rd on the SNP's list for election to the European Parliament. In 2007, Gibson was chosen to contest the constituency of Cunninghame North, winning that seat from Labour by the smallest margin in Scotland of 48 votes. In the subsequent 2011 SNP landslide election, Gibson secured a comfortable majority of 6,117 over Allan Wilson, the same Labour candidate, and former Scottish Minister, he had defeated by so slight a margin in 2007.[2]

In addition to his constituency activities, Gibson was also the Convener of the Finance Committee in the Scottish Parliament from 2011-2016 and brought attention to enhanced financial powers in the Scotland Act 2012.[3] Kenneth is currently a member of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee [4] and the Local Government and Communities Committee.[5]

Gibson is also actively involved in a number of Cross-Party Groups, serving as Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Epilepsy; the Cross-Party Group on Improving Scotland’s Health: 2021 and Beyond; and the Cross-Party Group on Life Sciences.[6]


In 2009, Kenneth Gibson was criticised by other MSPs for writing to North Ayrshire Council in support of a planning application for 24 houses made by a friend, Billy Maclaren, while failing to disclose either the friendship or his financial relationships with Maclaren.[7]

In March 2017, Holyrood's Standards Committee admonished Gibson for failure to make an oral declaration of a registered financial interest. The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal. However, the alleged offence was "time barred from criminal proceedings."[8]

Kenneth Gibson in 2017 was reported in the Scottish Sun for having an affair with a SNP Councillor called Ellen Forson and was caught returning on holiday with her from Costa Rica. He went on holiday with his wife shortly after. The entire episode caused embarrassment for the SNP.[9]

Kenneth Gibson's office in 2018 accidentally photocopied a confidential letter from Police Scotland regarding a dead person onto leaflets promoting a coffee morning causing upset to the bereaved family.[10]


  1. ^ "Previous MSPs: Session 1 (1999-2003): Ken Gibson". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gibson, Kenneth, "Implementing the Financial Powers in the Scotland Act 2012", Scottish Parliamentary Review, Vol. I, No. 2 (Jan, 2014) [Edinburgh: Blacket Avenue Press]
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "MSP criticised after backing friend's planning application". The Herald. 6 September 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  8. ^ Gordon, Tom (25 March 2017). "SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson under fire for failing to speak out over landlord status". The Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Nats love rat flew to Costa Rica with married aide weeks before break with MP wife". The Scottish Sun. 7 October 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Mum slams SNP MSP over cop letter "celebrating Ayrshire daughter death"". The Scottish Sun. 11 November 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.

External linksEdit

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Allan Wilson
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Cunninghame North