Shirley-Anne Somerville

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Shirley-Anne Somerville
Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley Anne Sommerville.png
Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science
Assumed office
18 May 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Alasdair Allan (As Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Dunfermline
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded by Cara Hilton
Majority 4,558
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Lothians
In office
31 August 2007 – 22 March 2011
Preceded by Stefan Tymkewycz
Succeeded by Constituency Abolished
Personal details
Born (1974-09-02) 2 September 1974 (age 43)
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Political party Scottish National Party
Alma mater University of Strathclyde
University of Stirling
Queen Margaret University

Shirley-Anne Somerville (born 2 September 1974) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who has been the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science in the Scottish Parliament since May 2016. She has been the Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Dunfermline constituency since 2016. She was formerly an MSP for the Lothians region from 2007 to 2011. She was a director of Yes Scotland between May 2012 and November 2013.

Early life

Somerville was born on 2 September 1974 in Kirkcaldy[1] and attended Kirkcaldy High School, followed by the University of Strathclyde, where she took a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics and Politics (1996), the University of Stirling, where she took a Diploma in Housing Studies (1999), and Queen Margaret University College, where she took a Diploma in Public Relations. She worked as a parliamentary researcher for Duncan Hamilton MSP from 1999–2001, then as a Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing from 2001 to 2004, and as a Media and Campaigns Officer at the Royal College of Nursing from 2004 to 2007.[2]

Political career

Somerville had stood as the SNP's candidate for Kirkcaldy at the 2001 UK general election, where she came in 2nd place with 22.2% of the vote, and for the Edinburgh Central constituency in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, where she came in 3rd place with 25.5% of the vote. On 31 August 2007, Stefan Tymkewycz resigned his seat in the Scottish Parliament representing the Lothians region in order to concentrate on serving as a City of Edinburgh councillor,[3] and Somerville was selected by the party to succeed him. However she lost her seat at the 2011 election.

On the launch of the cross-party Yes Scotland campaign in 2012, Somerville was announced as its director of communities.[4] She later stood as the SNP candidate in the Dunfermline by-election, 24th October 2013, coming second behind Cara Hilton of Scottish Labour. She did not return to her position in Yes Scotland after the by-election.[4]

In the Scottish Parliament election of 2016, Somerville again stood in the Dunfermline constituency. This time she was successful in securing the seat, defeating Cara Hilton on a majority of 4,558 votes.

See also


  1. ^ "Previous MSPs: Session 3 (2007-2011): Somerville, Shirley-Anne". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  2. ^ SOMERVILLE, Shirley-Anne, Who's Who 2009, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2008
  3. ^ "MSP announces move to step down". BBC News. 18 August 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Losing SNP by-election candidate leaves Yes job". The Herald. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 

External links

  • biography pages on Scottish Parliament website
  • profile on Scottish Government website
  • profile on SNP website
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