Alister Jack MP is the new Secretary of State for Scotland after Prime Minister Boris Johnson,on his first day in office, sacked David Mundell.
Alistair Jack has been a Member of the UK Parliament since the General Election of 2017 representing Dumfries and Galloway. He won with a whopping 43.3% of the vote and ousting the sitting SNP MP who got 32.4%.
Since then he has been rather quiet in the House of Commons. They Work For You is an excellent site for checking how our representatives vote.
How did Alister Jack vote on issues ?
- Against: Laws promoting equality and human rights
- Against: UK membership of the EU
- Against: Higher Taxes on banks
- Against: Transferring more powers to the Welsh Assembly
- Against: Transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament
- Against: Financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
- For: Raising the threshold at which people pay Income Tax
- For: Measures to reduce tax avoidance
- For: New High Speed Rail Infrastructure
- For: Reducing the amount of funding local government gets from central government
Has spoken in 11 debates in the last year — well below average amongst MPs.
Has received answers to 10 written questions in the last year — below average amongst MPs.
So that is Alister Jack’s record so far as MP for Dumfries and Galloway.
What about the man himself ?
He was born on 7th of July 1963 and went to Dalbeattie Primary School. Then he went on to Crawfordton House—a private prep school near Moniaive, Dumfriesshire—onwards to Glenalmond College, at that time an all-boys independent boarding school and finally Heriot Watt University.
From there he made a fortune buying, founding and selling businesses. He owns 1200 acres of land near Lockerbie on which there is a dairy farm.
Let us not forget either that Alister Jack is a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers.
Secretary State for Scotland
Since the setting up of the Scottish Parliament it has been difficult to justify having the office of Secretary State for Scotland. Indeed it has been suggested many times that the position does not fit with a devolved system.
The role according to the UK Government:
The main role of the Scottish Secretary is to promote and protect the devolution settlement.
Other responsibilities include promoting partnership between the UK government and the Scottish government, and relations between the 2 Parliaments.
It might surprise folk that despite this limited job description a massive new building has been constructed in Edinburgh for the Secretary of State for Scotland. The new building – Queen Elizabeth House – will also house HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Another hub will also be opened in Glasgow. These buildings will be filled with UK civil servants – 3,000 in the Edinburgh one.
The offices will be equipped with the latest IT equipment.
At the handing over of the keys the then Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said he was very much looking forward to inviting the cabinet to meet in it. Oops that’ll be Alister Jack’s job now.
It is difficult to find out much about Alister Jack’s work in the UK Parliament and for his constituency but here is a short video featuring the past and present Secretaries of State for Scotland after their election in 2017.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
As a constituent who emailed him, concerned that his voting for Brexit was against the wishes of the majority of his constituents, I can confirm that no reply, other than an electronic acknowledgement, was received. I know I’m not alone in this.
Oh, aye, he represents me, right enough. Now, where did I put that old school tie?
With his multi-millions and his connections (apparently he is popular with UK Tories because he invites them to his country estate), he will be a much more formidable opponent of Scottish independence than Mundell ever was.